The 'Report on Violence against Women (VAW) Survey 2015' by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has found that 50 percent of the women said they were physically tortured while 27 percent said they had been sexually abused.
BBS official Jahidul Hoque Sarder said at the launch of the report on Sunday that the study was based on interviews of 21,688 women between Aug 13 and 22 last year.
Compared with the figures for 2011, he said that the rate of sexual abuse of married women came down, but in cases of physical torture, it had gone up.
The study says it found that in 15 percent of the cases men abused their wives in efforts to control their behaviour.
>> Women aged between 15 and 34 are at the greatest threat of facing torture.
>> 51.8 percent of rural women said they had been abused. The rate is 48.5 and 49.6 percent at the urban and national levels respectively.
>> Little difference was found between the ratios of economic exploitation faced by rural and urban married women. In the case of rural women it was 12 percent while in urban areas it was 10.2 percent.
>> The study shows that the tendency of abusing wives is found less among educated couples.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was the chief guest at the event.
“Violence against women is a global problem. It cannot be stopped at once but can be reduced significantly,” he said.
According to him, one out of every three women are tortured in neighbouring India. “Bangladesh is in a better state compared to that. But we have the scope to do better,” said Minister Kamal.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze said: “Violence against women must stop in order to empower them.”
She claimed that the rate of violence against women had declined due to various government initiatives.
"However, a number of challenges are still there," she added.
UNFPA representative in Bangladesh, Argentina P Metavel, and European Union Ambassador, Pierre Mayaudon, were also present.