The desk review titled ‘Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces in Bangladesh’ is issued by the Share-Net Bangladesh secretariat and is funded by Share-Net International in the Netherlands. It was authored by Gazi Sakir Mohammad Pritom, Anushka Zafar and Farhana Alam at the Center for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (CGSRHR) at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (BRAC JPGSPH), BRAC University.

This review aims to give a comprehensive idea on the status of sexual harassment in public spaces of Bangladesh and to provide an overall picture of the situation and some recommendations for the policymakers.

The review aimed to understand the current state of sexual harassment in Bangladesh, analyze the related causes and examine the consequences and negative impacts. Implementation of policies and laws is particularly important when it comes to workplace harassment, because companies and organizations in Bangladesh must now be made accountable for the safety and wellness of their female employees without such discrimination.

To allow social change regarding sexual harassment to take place in Bangladesh, it is imperative that we as a society listen more to the survivors, rather than blaming them. With strict patriarchal, social and religious norms already in place, Bangladesh is also at higher risk of failing to properly address the issue of sexual harassment in public spaces.

In conclusion, to safeguard women against harassment in public institutions and workplace, systematic changes through strong policies and implementation of laws against harassment need to be institutionalized. Better educational efforts are needed in shaping young people’s perceptions of gender and sexuality. But more importantly, we need strong political will of the government for better implementation of laws to ensure safety of the women in public places from sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination. However, further research is needed to understand the severity of sexual harassment in public spaces, which can better inform policies and greater implementation of the laws.

Download and read the full Desk Review here

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