Leading figures of the women's rights groups in Bangladesh also spoke at the inaugural event of the exhibition titled 'Women Journalism in Bangladesh: History and Experience' at Drik Gallery at Panthapath in the capital. The exhibition, organised by Drik Picture Library, is dedicated to martyred journalist Selina Parveen.

"I learned from Selina Apa," said Maleka Begum, a professor at Central Women's University. “Those who have met Selina Apa once and worked with her, cannot forget her,” she added while demanding observing of Selina Parveen Day.

Just before the independence of Bangladesh, on 14 December 1971, the Razakars, Al-Badr and the Pakistani army killed many meritorious persons to destroy the intellectual backbone of the country. One of them is martyred journalist Selina Parveen. She started a magazine called Shilalipi in 1969. She was responsible for editing and publishing it herself. Articles by almost all the intellectuals of the country published in the magazine had an impact of the people.

Selina Parveen was the only woman among the intellectuals whose bodies were recovered from the capital's Rayerbazar graveyard, said Nasimun Ara Haque, president of the Bangladesh Women Journalists' Centre. "Journalism is still not considered a women's profession in the country," she said.

Selina Parveen's brother Shahabuddin Shelley said, Selina was the most educated in the family. Although she had no formal education, she could separate right from the wrong.

Rozina Islam, special correspondent of Prothom Alo, said that good journalism will help women journalists to overcome all obstacles on the way forward. She said women journalists need to work hard to tackle challenges.

Women journalists from different parts of the country took part in the programme. Shirina Afroz, a journalist from Pirojpur, said she was a victim of murder attempt. Having failed to kill her, the miscreants tried to defame her. She was fired without any notice. But she did not stop her work.

Bilkis Sumi of Sylhet said that when the leader of JMB Shaikh Abdur Rahman was brought to the court of Sylhet, she went to take pictures. Somebody said from the crowd, “Vile woman, cover your head.”

Sayedia Gulrukh, presenter of the show and director of Drik, demanded that defamation of the female journalist sshould be considered criminal offence.

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