The ebb and flow of ‘eve-teasing’ in the news: Front page coverage of street harassment of women in Bangladesh

  • Rajoanna Mowly La Trobe University
  • Nasya Bahfen La Trobe University
Keywords: Bangladesh, communication, content analysis, culture, eve-teasing, framing, gender violence, journalism, newspapers, sexual harassment, South Asia studies

Abstract

Eve-teasing is a euphemism for street-based sexual harassment, which is a widespread issue across Bangladesh affecting the emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of Bangladeshi women. The media can play a vital role by covering news and raising awareness of eve-teasing. Historically, the headlines in Bangladesh focused on more obvert forms of gender violence—rape, murder, acid attacks—framing eve-teasing as a mere nuisance, a fact of life in the country. How the media portrays eve-teasing in Bangladesh is a subject about which there is currently very little research. This content analysis of the two main national newspapers in Bangladesh assesses how the media reported street-based sexual harassment over the course of a seminal year—2010. It was during this year that the government of Bangladesh enacted the Family Violence Prevention and Protection Act in acknowledgement of the prevalence and seriousness of gender violence in the country. Similar acts had been passed by the governments of nearby countries India and Sri Lanka in 2005, and Nepal in 2008 (Fardosh, 2013). This study looks at how Bangladeshi newspapers covered ‘eve-teasing’ prominently (as front-page news), in a year when it was acknowledged as a serious issue, through the passing of a law by the Bangladeshi government.

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Author Biography

Rajoanna Mowly, La Trobe University

Rajoanna Karim Mowly is a graduate researcher in the Department of Politics Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University, in Melbourne, Australia.

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Published
30-11-2020
How to Cite
MowlyR., & BahfenN. (2020). The ebb and flow of ‘eve-teasing’ in the news: Front page coverage of street harassment of women in Bangladesh. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(2), 279-290. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v26i2.1123