Dhaka (AsiaNews) - About 87 per cent of Bangladeshi married women are abused by their husband, this according to a nation-wide study conducted by the government that involved a sample of 12,600 women. Only 8 per cent of respondents said that they were never abused by their partner.
Titled Violence against Women Survey 2011, the research was conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund. The picture it paints is alarming.
The survey found that domestic violence is present in most Bangladeshi households. Last year, 77 per cent of respondents admitted that they had been abused. Of these, 50 per cent had sustained serious injuries, but one in three women refused to go to hospital for fear of retaliation by the husband. Although not as prevalent, the problem also affects Catholic women.
Lata Gomes (not her real name for security reasons) told AsiaNews that "husbands consider us weak, and therefore believe that they have the right to dominate us, even beating us. I am a university graduate and I take care of our two children. But my husband does not listen to me, and if I do not do what he says, he beats me."
Overall though, violence is correlated to illiteracy and low levels of education among women, she explained.
According to human rights organisation Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), 5,616 cases of violence against women were recorded in 2012, mostly rapes (904), followed by murders (900), stalking and death as a result of stalking (662); dowry-related murders (558), and suicide (435).