Impact Evaluation of MEJNIN: A Project on Combating Sexual Harassment Against Girl Students in Public Places

Sexual harassment (popularly known as eve-teasing) is a form of violence and social crime that creates multiple effects on a woman or a girl. Many girls experience sexual harassment in front of schools and different public places in Bangladesh. To combat this, BRAC Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD) program implemented a program called Meyeder Jonnyo Nirapod Nagorikotto (MEJNIN) from 2012 to 2016 with the objective of raising mass awareness of sexual harassment. A mixed-method study with a quasi-experimental research design is considered for this study and data has been collected from two different cohorts of secondary school-going adolescent boys and girls (grade six to eight). Results from this study found that the program area shows significant progress in terms of knowledge, attitudes and practices compared to the baseline findings. About 60 per cent of the students actually know about sexual harassment issues, which are taught during the MEJNIN training sessions. Knowledge of legal awareness and referral system (e.g., hotline numbers) is greater and statistically significant among the treatment group of students than the control group. Regarding attitude issues, both boys and girls showed similar sorts of response patterns which either completely agree or disagree with any given statement. After four years of program intervention, the incidence of sexual harassment has been found to drop by 47.4 per cent in the program intervention areas. In addition, the study depicts that the possibility of becoming a victim of sexual harassment is one of the reasons for parents to push their daughters into early marriage. Moreover, taking any action against any sexual harassment incidents in some hotspot areas is challenging because local political perpetrators control these hotspots. However, a strong community network has been found to be developed to stand against sexual harassment and early marriage in the program intervention areas.

Authors: Khatoon, Fathema Zhura; Khan, Safayet
Type: Report
Year: 2018