It is a pandemic of devastating proportions.
It brings pain and suffering to women and their families.
It ravages communities in every country and culture.
And yet, we rarely talk about it, and we surely do not address it with the urgency it demands – in stark contrast to the other pandemic, which has been a constant presence in our collective consciousness for the last two years.
Bangladesh is a case in point. In the land of picturesque landscapes and mighty rivers, this hidden pandemic casts a particularly dark shadow.
The World Health Organization says that 50% of women in Bangladesh have experienced violence from an intimate partner in their lives, and about one in four in the last 12 months, which is almost twice the global average and above the regional average.
The data comes from the largest ever study of the prevalence of violence against women and was collected from 2000 to 2018.
Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has made an already dire situation even worse.
Because of that, and given the social stigma surrounding the issue, the true numbers today are anybody’s guess, but they are almost certainly significantly higher.
Intimate partner violence is a public health crisis. Out of the 87,000 women who were killed globally in 2017, more…