BRAC today released new data on gender-based violence in conjunction with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 Days are recognized annually from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.
According to the data released by BRAC, over 25,000 complaints of gender-based violence were received by BRAC Legal Aid Services in Bangladesh in the first ten months of 2020.
Even with restricted mobility because of lockdowns for a limited time, a total of 25,607 complaints of gender-based violence were received by BRAC’s 410 Human Rights and Legal Aid Clinics across Bangladesh in the first ten months of 2020.
There is greater pressure on teenage girls in Bangladesh to submit to child marriage amid COVID-19, according to the data
Of these complaints, 15,047 were resolved through alternative dispute resolution. Legal counsel was provided to 3,239 survivors, and 1,724 complaints led to civil and criminal cases being filed. In addition, almost $USD 4 million in dower and maintenance was recovered for survivors.
This spike was supported by data from Polli Shomaj, BRAC’s community-based women's groups, who reported a 24% rise in incidents of gender-based violence
Polli Shomaj are active in 54 out of 64 districts in Bangladesh and work to stop violence and help women understand their rights. They reported a 24% rise in incidents of violence against women in 2020 compared to 2019.
There is greater pressure on teenage girls in Bangladesh to submit to child marriage amid COVID-19, according to the data.
The number of child marriages reported by Polli Shomaj in the first 10 months of 2020 grew by 68%, compared to the same period in 2019. There was also a 72% rise in the number of child marriages prevented by the women’s groups during the same period.
In the third quarter of 2020, with COVID-19 widespread, the number of child marriages prevented was 219% higher than the same period in 2019. The number of child marriages prevented rose by 571% from the first quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2020.