Law and Humanities
Published: 15 November 2023
Gender-Based Violence in Tertiary Education in Bangladesh
Md Nahidul Islam, Jannatul Ferdous
Comilla University, Bangladesh
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Keywords: GBV, Tertiary Education, COVID-19, Mental Health
Gender-based violence, or GBV, is a concerning concept that one in three women may experience in their lifetime, thus converting it into one of the most enormous impairments of human rights worldwide. It has a substantial impact on one's health, including physical, mental, and sexual health, and it involves emotional, physiological, sexual, and even economic violence. This research delves into the intricate dimensions of GBV within the specific context of Bangladesh's Tertiary Educational Institutions (TEIs). This study employs a mixed-method approach, combining qualitative and quantitative data, to unveil the nuanced dynamics of GBV within higher education institutions. The findings highlight several key issues within TEIs. Firstly, sexual harassment complaint committees often exhibit deficiencies in their responsiveness and commitment, which deter female victims from seeking redress. A lack of awareness about sexual misconduct regulations impedes victims from taking legal action. Additionally, the misuse of political power in sexual harassment cases exacerbates the consequences for victims. The absence of transparent reporting and investigation procedures within organizations leaves victims without adequate support and discourages reporting. To rectify these issues, we propose a series of recommendations. Public universities must prioritize the establishment of influential sexual complaint committees to address misconduct, safeguard individuals' rights, and prevent legal and reputational repercussions. Collaboration with relevant organizations and legal entities, along with advocacy efforts, can raise awareness and catalyze the creation or enhancement of these committees. Sexual complaint committees are vital for reporting, support, and accountability in combating harassment, assault, discrimination, and misconduct within academic institutions.
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