Women ignored

Excellent article in the New York Times about sexual violence against Bangladeshi women. Just makes me wonder – how can the NY Times keep ignoring women’s human rights violations at the same time they print such an illuminating article on how this issue gets ignored?!?

Note the use of the term “women raped” – this is a passive construct that ignores the perpetrators and highlights the undesirable status women being victims.

Bangladesh war’s toll on women still undiscussed 

As the 40th anniversary of the 1971 war approaches, the Bangladeshi government has set up an International Crimes Tribunal to investigate the atrocities of that era. But human rights advocates and lawyers fear that the mass rapes and killings of women will not be adequately addressed. They hope to ensure they are.

There has been a denial by certain political groups of the history of the war, and a failure to account for the crimes of sexual violence against women,” said Sara Hossain, a human rights lawyer based in Dhaka.

For years, the experiences of women — the independence fighters, the victims of rape, the widows — during the war received little attention, their stories seldom told, the violence they experienced rarely acknowledged.

“As a young teenager in 1971, I had heard a lot about female university students, young village girls and women being raped and held captive, effectively forced into sexual slavery, in the military cantonment. But after the war, very soon, one heard nothing more,” said Irene Khan, former secretary general of Amnesty International.

Irene Khan also says this,

A conservative Muslim society has preferred to throw a veil of negligence and denial on the issue, allowed those who committed or colluded with gender violence to thrive, and left the women victims to struggle in anonymity and shame and without much state or community support.”

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