From Women's ENews:
The title Birangona is used to honor the 200,000 women who were raped by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Bangladesh war of secession. But the name is synonymous with rape, abortion, suicides and war babies.
There is a festive mood in Bangladesh because of yearlong celebrations marking 40 years of independence, but survivors of the mass rapes of 1971 say a small plaque is not enough when war criminals remain unpunished.
During the nine months of the war, thousands of women were gang raped and dumped into mass graves, their breasts chopped off. Those abandoned by their families slipped into India. Some killed their babies; others killed themselves.
Perpetrators were mainly of two types--some were members of the Urdu-speaking Bihari community and some were Bangladeshi--both supported by the Pakistani Army. They formed armed militia and committed atrocities on pro-liberation forces, according to government investigations and the research of civil society groups.
Those who survived, like Laily Begum and her sister Saleha, live in shame because their rapes left them tainted in the eyes of society and family members have treated their ordeals as taboo topics.