Remember the harrowing incident of the 2020 gang rape in Bangladesh that became viral on social media where a woman was raped by a group of men? The incident made the dire status of women and their security in Bangladesh even more evident. Furthermore, that incident shed light on a disturbing trend in gender-based violence that continues in the present era, revealing how technology, designed to simplify our lives, is paradoxically exacerbating the challenges faced by a particular gender.

Just as technology played a role in facilitating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on that day, it can also be harnessed as a powerful tool to combat it. One of the most advanced technologies at our disposal is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which many believe can be effectively employed in the fight against GBV.

AI has garnered both advocates and critics. While both have their logic and reasoning behind their argument, we need to remember that humans create AI to make things easier, and it has, without a doubt, made things a lot easier. On top of that AI is creating new pathways with new possibilities for people to bring positive changes in society. One of those new areas is gender-based violence.

Regrettably, gender-based violence remains a pervasive issue in Bangladesh. About 50% of women are victims of physical or sexual violence in Bangladesh and the perpetrators were their male counterparts. Despite many steps taken against gender-based violence, it is still widespread in Bangladesh. Since traditional steps have not been constructive enough, it is now time to add another dimension to tackle gender-based violence. In this technology-driven era, it is only logical to harness the full potential of technological advancements to enact and execute policies aimed at addressing gender-based violence, thereby facilitating the achievement of anticipated outcomes.

To achieve that, AI can be a great tool. Bangladesh has the potential to leverage AI effectively in addressing gender-based violence and providing substantial assistance to countless women.

There are already many countries where AI is being used to fight gender-based violence against women. In Spain, and some countries in Central America, apps such as VioGén and Sara are helping in culminating data that would help fight against gender-based violence. Even in Bangladesh, an application known as "Bachao" has been developed with the primary objective of preventing rape cases. This app utilises a GPS to identify and monitor women in distress, facilitating their connection with a network of volunteers, family members, friends, or law enforcement authorities. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the application lacks a comprehensive AI-driven system for optimal functionality.

In light of the continuous technological advancements each year, there is a promising avenue for the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the realm of crime prevention and reduction. AI holds the potential to play a pivotal role in identifying areas predisposed to violence. Primarily, by discerning patterns and highlighting locales with a heightened frequency of violent incidents, AI can contribute to a more effective approach to addressing public safety concerns. Additionally, AI can serve as a repository for data on individuals involved in gender-based violence, fostering a comprehensive understanding of such occurrences.

Furthermore, AI can mitigate re-victimization by securely storing information on both victims and perpetrators of GBV. This stored data can be leveraged to prevent new instances of violence against women and girls. Furthermore, AI technologies can scrutinise multimedia content-such as photographs, audio, and video-for indicators of assault, providing additional evidentiary support. It is imperative, however, to uphold strict confidentiality standards in data storage, ensuring that sensitive information remains accessible exclusively to authorised entities.

Next, AI can assist in profiling perpetrators' behaviours. While GBV victims predominantly consist of women, the spectrum of behaviours exhibited by perpetrators can be much more extensive. Cataloguing diverse perpetrator behaviours and characteristics in a database becomes crucial. This data, upon analysis, can establish criteria for identifying and understanding perpetrators' actions, allowing victims to recognize potentially violent situations and enabling law enforcement agencies to proactively address and prevent further instances of violence.

Lastly, it can move another step further by fostering collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies can make use of AI to extract direct information from the technology and initiate timely responses to deal with the perpetrators according to the complaints.

Taking assistance of AI to fight GBV in Bangladesh should not be a distant dream, but a tangible reality. This transformative endeavour necessitates vigorous research on the topic. A concerted effort from gender, social, psychological, and technical researchers can help discover the potential of AI in fighting gender-based violence in Bangladesh. Only proper research can truly delineate its advantages and drawbacks.

The government should contemplate the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a strategic tool in combating GBV. A concerted effort should be made to coordinate across various sectors, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive plan and execution. Collaborative initiatives with both local and international non-governmental organisations can prove instrumental in the successful implementation of AI-driven solutions for the prevention of GBV. However, it is essential to learn from international experiences, such as the case of Spain, where the AI system, while effective, is not devoid of shortcomings. An instance of misjudgment in risk assessment once resulted in failing to save a victim's life. Ensuring the effectiveness of the AI model can also be a real challenge as AI cannot always identify all nuances of human behaviour and contextual factors as humans do. Addressing the pervasive issue of bias is paramount. Bias originating from the individuals working within the system, law, and justice agents can be a pressing concern. To mitigate bias, a synchronisation between the AI system and the individuals operating within it is necessary. Simply put, the entire risk assessment sector should not rely upon the AI system alone. Human oversight is essential for validating outcomes. Assigning positions to trustworthy and dedicated individuals is crucial to prevent any potential bias from influencing the operation of the AI system.

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