Sexually Harassing Behavior Against Adolescent Girls in Rural Bangladesh

This study was conducted by researchers at icddrb. The paper examines the extent and type of sexually harassing behavior or intimidations unmarried adolescent girls experienced on their way to school, college or social visits and type of perpetrators in victims’ view in rural Bangladesh using data of the 2004 National Nutrition Programme baseline survey. The survey collected self-reported data on sexual harassments of 5,106 girls aged 13-19 years selected randomly. Results reveal that gendered harassments were experienced by 35% of the girls, unwanted sexual attentions by 34%, and sexual intimidations by 14%, yielding prevalence of sexual harassments of any type 43%. Higher girls’ education and household economic status heightened their risks of being harassed. Perpetrators were male young spoilt bullies (64%), neighborhood youths (30%), students (22%) and hoodlums (6%). High prevalence of sexual harassments mirrors vulnerability of adolescent girls in the community and deserves to be tackled to achieve millennium development goals (MDGs) in gender equality in health and social development.


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