The parliamentary standing committee of the liberation war affairs ministry had recommended that women UNOs not be included at the guard of honour for freedom fighters who have passed away. They took this decision on Sunday at the parliamentary standing committee meeting in the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban and sent the recommendation in this regard to the ministry.

Eminent persons have termed this decision of the parliamentary committee as offensive to women and a violation of the government’s policies, the spirit of the liberation war and the constitution. Various quarters have expressed their anger over the issue.

Speaking in parliament, Shireen Akhter said, “I am shocked, stunned and pained that my colleagues could raise such an issue! The constitution states that there can be no discrimination between men and women. When such a matter is raised in this country, we are shocked.”

Shireen Akhter said the parliamentary committee reasoned that since women can’t take part in janaza (Muslim funeral rites), they can’t take part in guard of honour either. But janaza and guard or honour are not the same.

The Jashod general secretary said, this proposal has come from a pro-liberation force at a time when fundamentalism is rearing its head all over the country. She called for the prime minister’s intervention in this regard so that such a reprehensible decision is not taken.

Various political organisations and parties have strongly criticised the parliamentary committee’s recommendation. In various statements sent to the media on Monday, they termed this recommendation misogynistic and discriminatory. They said the proposal was unconstitutional and went against the spirit of the liberation war. They demanded action against those who made such a statement.

President of Jashod and MP Hasanul Huq Inu and general secretary Shireen Akhter on Monday issued a statement strongly criticising the recommendation. They said that this was unconstitutional, extremely offensive to women and discriminatory.

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