Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces are everyday occurrences for women and girls in Bangladesh and around the world. Despite all the on-the-ground challenges, women in Bangladesh are increasingly entering the public spaces.

‘Women’s Safety in Public Places’ or WSPP is a collaborative campaign by Young Bangla – a youth platform of Centre for Research and Information (CRI), Human Rights Programme (HRP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Vision

Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces are everyday occurrences for women and girls in Bangladesh and around the world. It is estimated that 90% of women and girls between the ages of 10-18 have experienced sexual harassment or violence or unwanted physical contact in streets, markets, public transport and public places (Study by Action Aid).

Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been experiencing bullying and sexual harassment or violence on social media. All of these hinder women’s full potential and participation in all spheres of life.

Articles 28.2 and 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh guarantees women’s equal rights in all spheres of the State and of public life and freedom of movement. The Women Development Policy 2011 reinforces its commitment to ensure the active role of women and their equal rights in all national economic activity, including women’s participation in the labour market and equal opportunity in the workplace. In 2009, the Supreme Court issued directives to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and in educational institutes. Bangladesh is also committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 including target 5.2 that proclaims ‘the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private sphere’ as one of its specific goals. Bangladesh has also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to promote women’s and girls’ rights.

However, the current laws and policies are not adequate to prevent the harassment of women and girls in public places. Our Vision is to make society free from sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces.

Our mission

We are on a mission to take adequate, collective and coordinated measures to make public places safer, secure and comfortable for women all over the country including on online platforms. Despite all these challenges on the ground, women in Bangladesh are increasingly entering into public spaces. Our mission is to create awareness about sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces are an everyday occurrence for women and girls in Bangladesh and around the world.

Our Objectives

We have initiated a nationwide action-focused awareness raising campaign to bring positive transformation on perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of youth, community members and relevant stakeholders regarding ‘Women’s Safety in –Public Places (WSPP)’.

Another aim of this intervention is to identify policy gaps that require immediate attention to address this issue at the policy level.

WSPP campaign aims to sensitize the general public and to create awareness among young men and boys on women’s safety with a particular focus on sexual harassment against women and girls in public places.

It also aims to bring institutional and policy changes to prevent perpetration and to create legal mechanisms to address sexual harassment.

OurPartners

Young Bangla, the youth platform of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), along with the Human Rights Programme (HRP) of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

OurGallery

Statistics on Women’s Safety in Public Places in Bangladesh

0 %
of the women and girls from seven cities in Bangladesh face ‘derogatory comments and sexually colored abusive language’ (2015’s Study by Action Aid).
0 %
of female students of tertiary education institutes faced sexual harassment at least once (UN Women, 2013 situational analysis in Bangladesh).
0 %
women living in urban areas face violence, including physical, psychological, financial, social violence as well as unwanted physical contact by strangers (2017’s Study by Action Aid).

A survey showed that 94 percent of women were being harassed in different ways, resulting in uncomfortable situations that led 20.5 percent of them to avoid using public transportation. (2018’s study report by Brac)

Objectives

Young Bangla, the youth platform of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), along with the Human Rights Programme (HRP) of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and National Human Rights Commission have initiated a nationwide action-focused awareness raising campaign to bring positive transformation on perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of youth, community members and relevant stakeholders regarding ‘Women’s Safety in Public Places (WSPP)’. Another aim of this intervention is to identify policy gaps that require immediate attention to address this issue at policy level.
WSPP campaign aims to sensitize the mass people and to create awareness among young men and boys on women’s safety with particular focus on sexual harassment against women & girls in public places.
It also aims to bring institutional and policy changes to prevent perpetration and to create legal mechanisms to address sexual harassment.
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Expected Outcomes of this Campaign

To break the silence surrounding harassment and violence women and girls faces while in public spaces;
To influence decision-makers to bring about particular changes and to enact a specific law on prevention and protection of sexual harassment;
To bring a shift in behavior and social norms over time; and more importantly
To help youth organizations play the role of campaign bearer; prompting survivors, victims to raise their voice to stop the violence; share a strong and specific message to perpetrators; align to the rules of stakeholders/ duty bearers.
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Major Activities

On Ground Campaign (Community based campaign at grassroots)
1. awarfeness campaign

Awareness Campaign

5. webinar

Online

3. policy roundtable

Policy

Major Activities

On Ground Campaign (Community based campaign at grassroots)
1. awarfeness campaign

Awareness Campaign

In this section, we want to highlight the most successful campaigns aiming at preventing and combating the different forms of violence against women. Through video clips and posters, campaigns are instrumental tools to raise awareness and foster societal and political change.

2. survey

Survey

The time has come for the public to take up the cause of women safety on a permanent basis and not just when an untoward incident occurs. What is more important is the need to sensitize people about safety issues and methods to seek help or help anyone in distress.

3. policy roundtable

Policy Roundtable

The Policy Roundtable brings together senior executives and public officials for in-depth discussions of public policy challenges and works to craft public policies that are in the best interests of the countries women safety issues.

4. poilcy advocay

Policy Advocacy

This policy advocacy toolkit will be developed to assist women safety programs to actively contribute to the development and implementation of public policy for social justice and gender equality or to challenge proposed laws and policies that undermine gender equality and human rights.

5. webinar

Webinar

The webinars will talk about the risks to the safety of women experiencing public places every time, everywhere, offering guidance for supporting this vulnerable group.

6. mass awareness

Mass campaign

Mass media to communicate public women safety issues and contribute to mass awareness.

OurTeam

Md. Abdullah Al Zubair Parents Ageing Foundation

Kamrun Nesa Mira
All For One
Foundation

Most. Faima Khatun
Aparajita Jubo kallyan Snagstha

Faez Belal
Barishal Youth
Society – BYS

Atd Angel
Choupash
Natyanchal

Somen Kanungo
D Engineers’
Club

Sadat Rahman Shakib
Narail Volunteers

Shakila Islam
Youth Net

Mr. Jewel Rana
YEDO

Sazid-Bin-Zahid (Miki)
Jibon

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