Dhaka, 06 March 2020: Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and its more than 100 partner NGOs celebrated International Women’s Day 2020 throughout the country urging young generation to come forward to stop oppression against women and children.
MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam led a rally of women motorcycle riders at Teachers Students Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University in Dhaka. Speaking at the motor rally, Ms. Anam observed that equality brings peace in family and society. ‘We dream of a violence-free and secure Bangladesh’, she added.
Jointly organized by MJF and Bangladesh Women Riders Club and supported by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the motor rally was one of the activities of MJF to mark the International Women’s Day with this motto: “Stop rape and killing of women and children now”. The objective of the rally was to break stereo types of what women can and cannot do through the role model of women motor bikers. Ishrat Khan Majlish, President of Bangladesh Women Riders Club appreciated MJF’s collaboration which will inspire both bikers and women to commute boldly in the streets. Some women bikers said that such inspiring initiative will help reduce various types of harassments they face by traffic police and others while riding bikes.
A MJF study released in early January this year found that in 2019, around 902 children were raped. Among them, 48% were between the ages of 13 and 18, and 39% were between the ages of seven and 12. In another study of MJF released in February 2020 found that forty-four percent women of ethnic minority groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) experience domestic violence at least once in their lifetime, of which 82 percent cases are in the hands of their husbands.
Supported by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), MJF also organized a cultural event at Rabindra Sorobor at Dhanmondi where people gathered to listen baul songs on equality of women and men. Executive Directors and senior officials of some PNGOs also expressed solidarity with MJF’s mission to reduce child and women violence in the country.
On 14 March 2020, MJF Executive Director also attended an event ceremony titled ‘Women: Out of Box’, organized by JCI-Daily Samakal. Success stories of eleven women dignitaries including that of Ms. Anam was highlighted in the event.