Golam Mostafa Jibon: The proportion of male repression is increasing in the country day by day due to lack of appropriate law in favour of them and several loopholes in the conventional law.This is why, several rights organizations demand enactment of new laws to protect men’s rights.
About 80 percent of married men in the country are victims of ‘mental torture and abuse’. Many of them don’t want to reveal these things in fear of social embarrassment, said several men’s rights organizations.
It is to be mentioned that, the incident of sexual abusing to men come to discussion, while five persons including Firoja Nazneen Badhon, owner of Bhawal Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center in Gazipur were arrested by the RAB recently. After the incident, several men’s rights organizations raise voices against the male repression. They also urged the government to formulate new laws immediately with a view to protect the men.
The non-governmental organizations sources said, the complainants did not reveal their identities for fear of social stigma. Human rights activists also agree that many married men are being victimized of torture. But, they don’t dare to open the mouth in fear of social embarrassment. In this circumstance, they need legal protection.
The current Prime Minister is a woman. The Leader of the opposition is also a woman. In other words, it can’t be said that women are backward or they are backward. On the contrary, women’s society has broken the shackles of subjugation and has come a long way in its own right. On the other hand, many women are now torturing to men on the pretext of equal rights.
Sociologists said,the society is changing rapidly. Male abuse is the new form of the changed society. Many men are being tortured by mentally, physically, financially and socially.This kind of torture is often happening inside and outside the house. Although, comparatively less, the number of abused men in this country is not very low. Meanwhile, various government and non-government organizations working on human rights have statistics on violence against women, but they do not have accurate information on violence against men.
As a result, even though the news of violence against women has been published, the incidents of violence against men remain in the dark. However, in recent times, a number of organizations have been formed focusing on male torturing and harassment.
Sociologists said, the bond of love in married life is much lighter now than before. Besides, this is happening due to various reasons including degradation of social values, moral depravity, greed, lust, extravagance, extramarital affairs, drug addiction, economic inequality, harmful effects of globalization, free sky and cultural flow. The ultimate consequence of which is the breakdown of the family. Both men and women are suffering as a result of family unrest and family breakdown. All sections of the society from upper class to lower class are constantly suffering from various family afflictions. In this case, many in the society are extending a hand of sympathy to the oppressed women. But in this patriarchal society, no one seems to think that men can be abused. As a result, in most cases, the tragic story of torturing to males remains hidden.
Analysts said, men are unable to seek legal redress despite being tortured by their wives. In most cases, men try to cope with their wives’ torture silently enduring the fear of the child’s future, social status, eye shame, police harassment and vice-versa. Men can’t talk about torture even if they want to. On the other hand, a woman can easily file a fasle case against man with the police station or court.
Sheikh Khairul Alam, founder and chairman of the Bangladesh Men’s Rights Foundation said,”The men, who are victims of torturing by women, needed advice and co-operation in legal battles. Many men are silently shedding tears. They can’t open their mouths in shame. They can’t talk about torture. If a woman is abused, she can seek justice. Many organizations stand by him. But, none comes forward to help the men. “
Claiming that he himself was a victim of such torture, Alam said, “I have been a victim of torture and have approached many human rights organizations. None of them agreed to stand by me. We have given a memorandum to the President and the Prime Minister to enact a law against male torturing in the National Assembly. We are also campaigning for the legitimacy of this law.”
Alam said, “We have conducted a research on the basis of the complaints, which come to us every day. The problem, however, is that no one wants to make a written complaint. As a result, we do not have any documents in this regard.”
He added, “Recently, a man from Mirpur in Dhaka called me and complained about torture to him. He was crying on the phone. But, he did not agree to reveal his identity out of shame. The same scenariois prevailing for most of the men, who are silently shedding tears, but unable to seek redress. Not only that, many are calling us from abroad and complaining of torture.”
According to Engineer Farooq Sajeed, General Secretary of the organization, the matter of torture and discrimination against men in Bangladesh has now become a social issue. There aremany organizations for the realization of rights for all like women, children, transgender, even for the protection of animal rights in Bangladesh. But there is no platform for men. Men in Bangladesh are now so vulnerable that if someone files a case in their name, it gets much bigger. There is no question of true-false verification.
Prof. Dr. Sanjeeda Akhtar, chairman of the Department of Women and Gender Studies of Dhaka University said, “In our society, men are being abused in some cases. However, they do not seek justice like women in fear of social stigma.”
“There are no significant studies or statistics on torturing to men. I think, all torture needs legal protection,” she added.
Human rights activist Sheepa Hafiza, former executive director of ‘Ain O Shalish Kendra’ agreed on the issue of male repression. Describing her experience, she said, “During my tenure at ‘Ain O Shalish Kendra’, I have seen many men come forward with allegations of torturing. An official close to me has also complained of such torture. But he did not get justice. In addition, he himself was punished in false cases. The social damage what he suffered was irreparable. There are countless men like him who have been abused.”
If a man is abused, he should have legal protection. But, there is no such strong measure,she added.
Various organizations working on men’s rights said that, many men in the society cry silently for the pain of their wives. They wipe their eyes behind people’s eyes.But, there is no one to watch. There is no way to say. There are many to say in favour of females. But, none is here to say truth against any woman, if he himself is victim of harassment by her. Consequently, various quarters are now demanding the enactment of a law to stop male torture.
Salma Sultana, a human rights lawyer said,”Many men in our society are also often subjected to physical and mental torture by their wives. There is no specific law to prevent male repression. Five tribunals have been set up to ensure trial for violence against women and children, but none for men. As a result, it is becoming difficult to provide legal assistance to the victims. Many men, from high-ranking members of society to low-ranking rickshaw pullers, are coming to us for legal help after being physically and mentally abused.But, we can’t do anything as per need.”
Sources said, the development of a society and a state cannot be imagined without the development of women. That is why, many countries of the world are at the peak of development by promoting women’s development. Bangladesh has also come a long way in the field of women development. Women in Bangladesh have surpassed men in all respects compared to the previous period. Articles 27, 28 and 29 of the constitution speak about women’s rights. On the other hand, there are several laws in the country for the protection of women. Notable among these are Women and Child Repression Prevention Act-2000, Acid Prevention Act-2002, Domestic Violence and Suppression Act-2010 and Dowry Prohibition Act-1980. But sadly, although laws have been enacted to protect true women, some women are now using these laws as a tool to suppress men. Selfish women are abusing these laws to make their husbands harassment. On the other hand, the law to prevent male repression has not yet been enacted in the country. There is no tribunal against male abuse or torture. Concerned people said that, the victims are being deprived of legal services due to these reasons.
According to the sources, dowry law is being highly misused in the cases of male torturing. Lawyers said, most of the dowry cases are false and harassing. If there is a quarrel in any trifling matter between husband and wife, it turns into a dowry case when it is reported to the police. In case of marital discord between the husband and wife for any reason or if the wife is divorced or if the wife is chastised or if the wife’s extramarital affairs are obstructed by husband or his family members, then the wife and her family members go to the police station or court and filedowry case. This one case is enough to make a man’s life miserable.
Farida Yasmin, deputy commissioner of the Victim Support Center said, “Not only women but also men were being abused. Many men fall into the trap of bad girls. Then, the girls realize large sums of money from the victims abusing the law.”
She further said, “In many cases, I have seen that there is no subject of dowry between the husband and wife. But dowry case is filed only, if there is marital quarrel. The children of the family become victims of sufferings.”
Abdur Razzak Khan, President of Aid for Men Foundation said, rape cases are being filed after having sexual intercourse willingly. If the man wants to get married, he is forced to pay high amount of money like Tk 10 lakh to Tk 20 lakh as ‘Denmohor’. Even if the man complies with the demand, after a few months the woman demands divorce on the plea of no matching. The man is compelled to pay all the money of ‘Denmohor’, if the woman divorces him. Thus, men are being tortured everywhere. For this reason, it has become necessary to make laws to protect men’s rights.
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