Bangladesh: Rise in extremism fuels domestic violence

Deep-rooted social conventions and a rise in Islamic extremism resulted in the deaths of thousands of women and children last year in Bangladesh, according to WLUML networkers.
More than 3,000 women and about 4,000 children were tortured to death in 2005 across the country, according to the report, released by local media monitoring group Mass Line Media Centre.
Media reports for the previous year were analyzed, and indicated that many women were raped, beaten or attacked with acid by spurned lovers or for unpaid dowries. Many children from poor families were being trafficked out of the country, and many of them were raped by the traffickers, the report said. The researchers found that at least 435 children were the victims of trafficking last year, though many of them were rescued by police. "We are frustrated seeing such a gloomy picture of our society," said human rights activist, Shaheen Anam. "We can't live in such an environment of violence and hatred."

Meanwhile, human rights activists said rising Islamic extremism will be a driving factor in the deterioration of the situation for women. Women are increasingly threatened with punishment by Islamic extremists for not wearing the veil, a symbol of modesty in many Islamic societies, outside their homes, said Sultana Kamal, a lawyer and human rights activist. "It's a new trend, but definitely a dangerous one," Kamal said. "It will fuel violence against women in future."

Source: Agence France-Presse reported in Push Journal, 5.1.0