Publish: 11 Oct 2020, 01:07 pm
In the midst of country-wide protests over the growing incidences of rape and abuse against women and girls, actor Ananta Jalil blamed the unveiling of women's clothing for attracting 'unwanted sexual advances.'
In a 6.17-minute video, titled 'Ananta teaches rapists a lesson,' the actor is heard giving advice "as a brother" to women, reports UNB.
"Women [in Bangladesh] wear indecent dresses inspired by women from other countries, movies, television and social media. People look at your figures instead of your faces because of indecent dresses. They make indecent comments [about women] and think of rape," he said.
"Do you (women) consider yourself modern? Is the dress you wear 'modern' or is it indecent? Modern dress means just showing your face and covering your body with a decent dress that will make you look fine," the actor said in a video posted on his wife Barsha's checked Facebook page.
He went on to say that any dress that doesn't cover the entire body but the face makes women look "very bad."
"You get out on the streets wearing a t-shirt like boys. And when you're dishonoured (raped) and return home you can either kill yourselves or can't show your face in public," he said.
Almost 1,000 cases of rape, including 208 gang rapes, were recorded between January and September this year, according to human rights organisation Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK). Among the victims, 43 were killed after rape and 12 others committed suicide.
The actor said wearing 'decent' dresses will dissuade the thoughts of rape. "People will look at you with appreciation if you wear decent clothing," he said.
Data gathered from ASK media coverage revealed that 68 of the victims were under the age of 6. A further 139 victims were between the ages of 7 and 12. However, this data most likely captures a small number of incidents, as most survivors do not disclose assaults that fear social stigma and often fear for their safety.
Ananta told the men to think twice before they raped. "What would you do if the same thing happened to your wife, sister?"
He also requested Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take steps to introduce a death penalty law for rapists.
The gang rape at Sylhet MC College and the abuse of a housewife in Begumganj, Noakhali, triggered nationwide protests. Demonstrators are demanding stringent laws on rape and abuse against women.
In a statement last week, UN Bangladesh proposed a "urgent overhaul of the criminal justice system to help and protect victims and witnesses and to speed up the slow process of trial."
The conviction rate for rape in Bangladesh is below 1 percent, according to the Human Rights Watch. Last week, the law minister said they are proposing raising the highest punishment for rape to death penalty instead of life imprisonment.