We only use your email address to send you the newsletter and to see how many people are opening our emails. A full privacy policy can be viewed here. You can change your mind at any time and update your preferences or unsubscribe.

Adolescent boys in Dhaka. Photo: Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE

Adolescent bodily integrity and freedom from violence in Dhaka, Bangladesh

05.07.19 | Bangladesh

Bodily integrity | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Gender-based violence | Violence

Authors

Farhana Alam Sabina Faiz Rashid Laura Camfield Maheen Sultan Malisha Farzana, Anushka Zafar Riaz Hossain Jennifer Muz

In Bangladesh, the use of violence is a common method of discipline. Parental physical punishment is sanctioned by culture and values. The use of violence is not only practised at homes but also perpetuated in many educational institutions as well.

Physical violence against girls and women is particularly common in Bangladesh and is closely linked to the low status assigned to them. Adolescent girls face a plethora of other forms of violence such as verbal abuse and harassment, physical violence and sexual violence.

This brief looks at physical violence experienced by adolescents, including corporal punishment, and sexual and gender-based violence, including child marriage. It then draws out the ways in which gender and disability shape adolescents’ experiences, before outlining some implications for policy.

In Dhaka, baseline data collection entailed quantitative survey interviews with 780 adolescent girls and boys that were complemented by in-depth qualitative work and more in-depth qualitative research involving 36 nodal adolescents, their parents and communities to better understand the experience and perspective of young people.

We found that physical violence was a common fear and had been experienced by most adolescents in all three sites. Adolescents with disability face more teasing in school than their non-disabled peers, although there is no evidence that they are punished more. Younger adolescents experience violence primarily from family members, relatives, neighbours, other adult males and teachers. Older adolescents also experience violence from employers, with many working in the informal economy. Boys were more likely to report experiencing physical violence than girls.

Suggested citation

Alam, F., Rashid, S., Camfield, L., Sultan, M., Farzana, M., Zafar, A., Hossain, R. and Muz, J. (2019) Adolescent bodily integrity and freedom from violence in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Policy Note. London: Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence.


Related publications

Journal articles
03.08.22
COVID-19 and the gendered impacts on adolescent wellbeing: Evidence from a cross-sectional study of locally adapted measures in Ethiopia, Jordan, and Palestine
Across GAGE capabilities
Ethiopia | Jordan
Read more
03.08.22 | Across GAGE capabilities | Journal articles | Ethiopia
COVID-19 and the gendered impacts on adolescent wellbeing: Evidence from a cross-sectional study of locally adapted measures in Ethiopia, Jordan, and Palestine
Read more
Journal articles
28.07.22
COVID-19, state (in)visibility and structural violence in low- and middle-income countries
Economic empowerment
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
28.07.22 | Economic empowerment | Journal articles | Bangladesh
COVID-19, state (in)visibility and structural violence in low- and middle-income countries
Read more
Journal articles
14.07.22
Improving Menstrual Health Literacy Through Life-Skills Programming in Rural Ethiopia
Sexual reproductive health and nutrition
Ethiopia
Read more
14.07.22 | Sexual reproductive health and nutrition | Journal articles | Ethiopia
Improving Menstrual Health Literacy Through Life-Skills Programming in Rural Ethiopia
Read more