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Bangladesh materialised Begum Rokeya's dream: PM

Update : 09 Dec 2023, 16:18

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government has taken every possible measure to empower women in very sector and ensure their rights, adding, "Bangladesh has been able to materialise the dream of Begum Rokeya".

"The womenfolk don't lag behind in any sector due to the initiatives of my government," she said.

The premier made the remarks while addressing a programme as the chief guest on the "Begum Rokeya Day-2023" and distribution of "Begum Rokeya Padak-2023" to five noted women marking 143rd birth and 91st death anniversary of Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain.

The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs arranged the programme commemorating the contribution of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of Bangalee women's education and a social reformer ensuring equal rights for women and men, at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium here.

The prime minister said they have taken a lot of measures to ensure women empowerment as envisioned by Begum Rokeya.

"We have guaranteed equal rights for the men and women creating job opportunities for them," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said economic solvency is the most important things for women empowerment.

"We have always been trying that the women can stand on their feet which will help them to be empowered," she said.

Referring to Rokeya's dream that the women will be judges and barristers, she said her dream has come to reality as the women are seizing all the opportunities with their own abilities.

The premier said before the country's independence, it was illegal for a woman to become a judge. When this legal bar was lifted by the initiative of the Father of the Nation, Nazmun Ara Sultana had become the first women judge in the lower court, she said.

She also said her government later made Nazmun Ara as the first women judge in the High Court and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

The head of the government said she had a dream to appoint a woman as the country's Chief Justice which has yet been materialized.

She urged all the countrymen to pray for her only daughter Saima Wazed Putul as today is also her birthday.
 
The five award recipients are - first female vice chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Professor Khaleda Ekram (posthumous) of Bogura for women education, noted reproductive health expert Dr. Halida Hanum Akhter of Rangpur for establishing women rights, Kamrunnesa Ashraf Dina (posthumous) of Netrakona for her contributions to the socio-economic development of women, Ronita Bala of Thakurgaon for rural development and Nishat Mazumder (Mountaineer) of Lakshmipur district for her contribution to awakening of women.

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira, MP, and Secretary Nazma Mobarek, spoke on the occasion.

On behalf of the award winners, Nishat Majumder expressed her feelings on winning the award.

Each of the awardees has got a gold medal, a certificate and a cheque of Taka 4 lakh.

Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, said women's participation is now ensured in every sector due to her government's tireless efforts in the last 15 years.

"The women are now everywhere. They are now contributing to the politics, economy, foreign policy, enacting laws, administration, law enforcing agencies, armed forces, judiciary alongside border security. They are performing their duties with efficiency," she said.

The prime minister said the women has also been showing their competence in journalism, information and technology, sports and other arenas and have been earning reputation for Bangladesh.

"It is a matter of pride that Bangladeshi women have topped in Asia," she said.

She went on saying Bangladeshi women are on top in South Asia in gender index as Bangladesh is in seventh position across the globe in women empowerment.

The premier mentioned that the women account for 70 percent of the country's health service providers while their number is over 80 percent in ready-made garments sector.

She reiterated her commitment to taking the country forward further and transforming it into a Smart Bangladesh by 2041.

"Our country will be made smart by 2041 with making our population, economy and society smart," she said.

The prime minister said her government has been working to make both the men and women equally efficient to compete in the world.

Sheikh Hasina said none can confine women in home in the name of Islam referring to the recently concluded OIC conference on women in Islam in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah, in which, the contribution of women to medical science and literature was portrayed.

"So, none can take the women back home in the name of Islam," she said.

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