Municipal mayors from across the country at a webinar on Sunday said that domestic violence against women had increased as economic crisis of people deepened at all municipal towns due to COVID-19 pandemic.
At the webinar titled Impact of COVID-19 on Safeguarding and Violence against Women, they said that they were helping the victims and committed to strengthening their cooperation to root out all types of violence against women.
Municipal Association of Bangladesh organised the webinar on the occasion of International Women’s Day with assistance of Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project, UNDP Bangladesh and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK.
The association’s joint secretary general and Madaripur municipal mayor Md Khaled Hossain in his keynote speech said that violence against women increased drastically due to financial crisis and limited opportunity of job amid COVID-19 crisis.
Citing a study by BRAC, Khaled said that 40,000 women became victims of domestic violence between April and September 2020 among a million women in 59 districts.
‘Unfortunately, of them, 40 per cent were victimised for the first time amid the pandemic,’ he added.
State minister for women and children affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira said that the government had already taken many initiatives to reduce violence against women due to the pandemic.
The government has taken 23 stimulus packages while incorporating at least seven programmes for the marginal women, she added.
The mayor association’s president and Nilphamari municipal mayor Dewan Kamal Ahmed presided over the webinar while Department of Women Affairs director general Ram Chandra Das, LIUPCP project director Abdul Mannan, MAB secretary general M Rafiqul Islam, UNDP Bangladesh international technical adviser Yugesh Pradhanang, FCDO team lead Anwerul Haque and Urban Development Journalist Forum Bangladesh vice-president Kamrun Nahar also spoke in the webinar.
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