The top five winners received prize money of Tk 100,000 to Tk 10,000.

The women volunteers were selected based on their contributions towards Covid-19 response in health, awareness-raising, food distribution, innovation, working against gender-based violence, child protection, education, WASH, environment, and mental health.

Women take on 57 per cent of volunteering globally; volunteering strengthens their participation, which helps reduce inequality, speakers at the award-giving ceremony said.

Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) CEO Sultana Afroz said women volunteers had been playing a vital role amid the Covid-19 pandemic since the beginning, in Bangladesh and across the globe.

Taheatul Jannat, one of the award winners, said, "Thousands of people in our country are facing multidimensional challenges just due to lack of awareness. I felt like I have some responsibility towards society. And one of the ways to pay back the debt is to serve the disadvantaged people."

Van Nguyen, the deputy resident representative of UNDP, Dipak Chakraborty, additional secretary of the Local Government Division, Aktar Uddin, country coordinator of UNV Bangladesh, Tania Haque, professor of women and gender studies department of the University of Dhaka, were also present.

Also, Kazi Anowarul Haque, former additional secretary, Abdur Rashid Khan, chief engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department, Jolly Nur Haque, director of programme development and learning at Plan International, Salahuddin Ahmed, business pursuit lead at VSO Bangladesh, and Afsana Alim, programme officer of ActionAid Bangladesh, attended the event.

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