Dhaka, Bangladesh (CU)_ Bangladesh is a Muslim country that has remained highly traditional with a strict culture. Abu Sufian, a senior authority in Cox’s Bazar, addressed the media saying that the idea was a request from women. He said, “(The women) requested a dedicated beach section for themselves, because they felt shy and insecure in a crowded place”.
Bangladeshi authorities withdrew their intention to open a women-only beach following allegations of catering to extreme Islamists. On Thursday, the officials declared the opening of a 150m (492ft) area of Cox’s Bazar dedicated to women and children. However, they subsequently abandoned the plan a few hours later due to social media acquisitions. The officials stated that the decision to separate the beach was taken in response to demands from certain women.
The decision to segregate the beach was an attempt for women safety that came after reports of a woman being gang raped in Cox’s Bazar, which stunned the country last week, creating an outcry about women’s safety in the region. Hence, considering the safety of the women community in the area, the officials decided to provide a separate section to the women and children. However, the idea sparked outrage on social media. Critics said that the government was caving into radical Islamists, who recently staged enormous protests demanding gender separation in workplaces and industries.
One blogger dubbed the beach segregation as “Talibistan,” indicating the Taliban Islamist group that has restricted women’s rights in Afghanistan in the recent past. Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar is the longest natural sea beach in the world and is a famous tourist attraction, which draws numerous tourists globally. Millions of people flock to the area during holiday seasons, and the tourism industry has flourished in recent years.