Birangonas continue to face deprivations despite state recognition

Published: 16 June 2022

Despite being recognised as freedom fighters by the government of Bangladesh, Birangonas are still being deprived of their allotted benefits and facing a lengthy, complicated and often corrupt process, according to a study by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

The study found that it takes at least three to six months to receive allowances and more than six years to receive housing allocated for Birangonas. There are also allegations of bribery and extortion in the certification and housing application process.

Birangona is a title given to women raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators.

According to the study, the government's Management Information System (MIS) has various mistakes in the names of Birangonas, leading to further complications in receiving benefits.

TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman stated that "the lack of planning and institutional capacity, structural complexity, dependence on the bureaucratic system, opportunities for irregularities and corruption, lack of accountability, and lack of sensitivities regarding the issue" were making the process difficult for the Birangonas. He emphasized that the state recognition and ensuring the rights of Birangonas should be of utmost importance to the state.