Rahima Begum of Bangladesh was sentenced to being caned 39 times for revealing the father of her child, born out of wedlock. This news, which was reported by Agence France-Presse, does not clearly say if she was sentenced because she pointed out the father or because she had a baby without being married. I think we can safely assume that it is the latter.
Rahima lives in an eastern village in Bangladesh, where fundamental Muslim laws reign. According to these laws, it is taboo to have a child out of wedlock. Incidents like Rahima's are on the rise and are a cause for great worry among human rights groups. As a matter of fact, these incidents are becoming increasingly common. These groups blame hard-line clerics who are taking the law into their own hands, and are meting out harsh punishment by means of the village courts.
What are these so-called crimes for which the clerics are sentencing such inhumane punishment? Well, if you haven't already guessed, they include adultery and being raped. Yes, if you are raped you can be punished. Needless to say, it is mostly women who are found guilty of these so-called crimes. One human rights group reported 15 such incidents of harsh sentencing in May and June.
What happened to the father of Rahima's child? Was he sentenced to any caning? The source of this article, Women's enews, did not say, but I think that we can safely assume that he suffered no punishment. If this isn't misogyny, then what is?