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   Volume 5 | Issue 46| December 04, 2011 |


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Music for a Cause

Rakibul Hasan

Despite the fact that Bangladesh is one of the pioneering countries to have a woman as head of the government, there is still rampant discrimination and violence against women in the country. With a view to build awareness among people about eliminating all kinds of violence and injustice against women, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in association with Bangladesh Musical Band's Association (BAMBA) organised an open-air concert on November 26, 2011. The concert came as a part of a 15 day long campaign by the UNFPA, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Thirteen leading musical bands of the country namely Miles, LRB, Nagar Baul, Feedback, Warfaze, Prometheus, Aurthohin, Black, Cryptic Fate, Artcell, Nemesis, Powersurge and Beduin, participated in the concert to convey and help spread the theme of the campaign : 'Say NO to violence against women: Be a REAL MAN!'

Nagar Baul, Photo courtesy : Ovick Sarwar/ Cool Exposure

The concert was undoubtedly one of the major musical events of the year. Thousands of youths thronged the concert venue at M A Aziz Stadium, Chittagong to express their solidarity to stop violence against women. The concert started at 2 pm and continued till late evening. Popular band Beduin took the stage first with some of their smashing hit tracks. Throughout the event, the audience were enthralled by the powerful performance of their favourite rock stars. Prior to their feats, the performing band members called upon the audience to stand united in eliminating all kinds of malicious practices that exist in our society that violate the rights of women. The concert ended with the performance of the music maestros from the legendary band Miles. Focusing on the inhumane trait and practice of abusing girls and women in every possible form, Hamin Ahmed, celebrated musician and President, BAMBA said, “The menace of violence against women must be eliminated at any cost. We have to act like a real man by not being abusive in any form towards women, anywhere in the society.”

In his address to the audience, Arthur Erken, Country Representative, UNFPA, said,“ Today we are here in condemning violence against women and calling for stronger action to end impunity.” He also added, “Every women has the right to live with dignity- free of fear, coercion, violence and discrimination. Every woman has the right to health, including sexual and reproductive. Today and every day we, especially the men and boys must speak out forcefully for zero tolerance to all forms of violence against women and girls. And we must recognise that this is not a woman's issue, this is an issue that concerns us all.”

Dr Md Afsarul Amin, Minister for Primary and Mass Education, graced the occasion as the chief guest while the special guests present at the event were M Monjurul Alam, Mayor, Chittagong Metropolitan City; Tariqul Islam, Secretary, Ministrey of Women and Children Affairs; Arthur Erken, Country Representative, UNFPA; Afsana Taher, Operations Manager, UNFPA and Hamin Ahmed, President, BAMBA. The media partner of the events were Bangla Vision, Radio Foorti and banglanews24.com.

People in the port city thoroughly enjoyed the rocking performances by the noted musicians at the concert. However, the purpose of the event will be successful only when its participants and audience strive to become better human beings by respecting the rights of women in the truest sense.

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