Cost of violence against women and girls impedes economic growth in Bangladesh: UN Women calls for stronger commitment and investments to end this world’s worst pandemic


[Press Release]

High-level visit by United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri draws greater attention to ending gender-based violence enabler to achieve shared development goals.

United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri. Photo: UN Women/Pathumporn Thongking

Dhaka, Bangladesh – UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri met with key stakeholders in Bangladesh to discuss efforts and collaborations to achieve the gender equality targets of the Sustainable Development Goals in Bangladesh. This high-level visit is part of UN Women’s leadership globally to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence under the ‘Orange the World’ umbrella that calls for robust funding to end violence against women and girls.

Ms. Puri met with the State Minister Meher Afroze Chumki, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, and Speaker of the Parliament Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and with leaders from the Private Sector, Civil Society, and Heads of Agencies and Diplomatic Missions. During her meetings, Ms. Puri reiterated that the pandemic of violence against women and girls can and must end, but it will need stronger commitment and investments.

Despite growing recognition that the pandemic of violence against women is a gross human rights violation and a serious obstacle to development, concrete efforts on prevention and ending violence against women and girls continue to be a low priority on the international development agenda, with inadequate funding. Speaking with the Minister Chumki, Ms. Puri highlighted, “Ending violence against women is a pre-requisite for the achievement of our shared development agenda and demands innovative solutions and the forging of new partnerships to mobilize funds from all available sources.”

Bangladesh has a high prevalence of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence and child marriage. According to the UNFPA/Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics study, more than 10 million Bangladeshi women experience physical or sexual violence every year.

Ms. Puri’s visit ends tomorrow after contributing to discussions at the Global Forum for Migration Development where UN Women has introduced gender-responsive employment contract for migrant domestic workers to prevent exploitations and promote safe working conditions. In Bangladesh, UN Women and its partners focus on reducing violence against women, promoting economic empowerment, increasing leadership and political participation, and engendering National Planning and Budgeting.

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