PM Hasina said that since its independence, Bangladesh has been working on promoting women in all spheres of national life.
She said that the constitution of Bangladesh framed under the guidance of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman guarantees equal rights of women.
She quoted the Article 28 (1) of the Constitution that says: The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Clause (2) of the same Article stipulates: Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life.
The PM said that her government has formulated Women Policy 2011. Under the policy, it has taken measures to ensure women’s overall development and active participation in the mainstream socio-economic activities and remove all the impediments to their empowerment.
Their increased participation and contribution in sectors like politics, administration, education, businesses, sports, armed forces have been transforming the socio-economic landscape of Bangladesh, she added.
She mentioned that gender parity in Bangladesh has improved across all sectors due to greater participation of women in socio-economic and political activities.
“Bangladesh is at the top position in gender equality among South Asian countries,” she told the seminar.
PM Hasina said that Bangladesh is a role model for women’s participation in peacekeeping, peace-building, disaster management, and preventing violent extremism.
In this regard, she said that it was her government which has opened the door for women to be recruited in armed forces during her first tenure in 1996.
At present, she said, Bangladesh is the topmost contributor of female peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping missions. So far, a total of 704 female peacekeepers from Bangladesh Armed Forces have participated in UN peacekeeping operations. Currently 373 female members are deployed in different peacekeeping missions.
“On the other hand, a total of 1,624 female police officers from Bangladesh Police have taken part in peacekeeping operations and 150 officers are currently working.”
She also said that women in Bangladesh are now serving as government secretaries, judges of Supreme Court, VCs of Universities and top position of many organisations.
Sheikh Hasina said that she is glad to know that the participants will interact with the Rohingyas, forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals from Rakhine state.
“We have given them shelter on humanitarian grounds. We could understand their plights and miseries as we had to undergo similar experience and shocks during our War of Liberation in 1971. The interactive session, I hope, will be a great experience for the participants to understand the victims of war and conflict.”
The prime minister said that as the current chair of the Women, Peace and Security Chiefs of Defence Network that was launched by Bangladesh, Canada and the United Kingdom in November 2017, all are pledged bound to carry forward the WPS agenda.
“Formulating National Action Plan 2019-2022 on WPS, we have been implementing it. We have decided that implementation of the National Action Plan will continue till 2025,” she said.