PM calls for changing mindset about women
BI Report || BusinessInsider
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: Collected
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday made a clarion call for changing mindset about women, saying changed mentality can prevent violence against women rather than law.
“Most painful issue is that violence against women... we’ve enacted laws but it is not enough, rather mentality has to be changed along with switching thoughts,” she said.
The premier came up with the call while addressing the Begum Rokeya Padak-2021 distribution ceremony as the chief guest at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban in capital Dhaka, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
She said it has to be believed that “women are not only the subject of enjoyment” rather everyone should treat them as fellow colleague and ally in the same journey.
“They (women) have to be given equal rights in the co-journey and it is now reality,” she added.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina also mentioned the adoption of different laws by her government in favour of women such as laws against rape, women torture, establishment of family rights for women etc.
With State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira in the chair, Secretary of the Ministry Md Sayedul Islam delivered the welcome address.
On behalf of the prime minister, the state minister handed over the Padak (award). Each recipient received a crest, medal, certificate and a cheque.
The recipients are: Professor Hasina Zakaria (Bela) for women education, Archana Biswas for women rights, Shamsunnahar Rahman Paran (posthumous) for socio-economic development of women, Professor Dr Zinat Huda for women revolution through women education literature and culture and Dr Saria Sultana for rural development.
Professor Hasina Zakaria (Bela), among the awardees, spoke on the occasion expressing her feelings.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs organised the function on the occasion of the Begum Rokeya Day.
Describing Begum Rokeya as a model for women, the prime minister said, “Hadn’t she lit the light of education by breaking the social superstition and stalemate (for women), we would not have been able to go far way today. She showed us the path. She had made us start on the path of light.”
Highlighting the role of women with success in all spheres of the society and state, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been managed to fulfil the dream of Begum Rokeya largely.
She said the country’s womenfolk are moving ahead in every sphere of society even they are piloting helicopter.
She also said female members of army, air force and police are successfully performing their duties in UN peace keeping mission which is turning them to more competent.
“Women can do what men can and in some cases, female can perform better than their male counterpart,” she opined.
Referring to the initial obstacles appeared during the introduction of female football competition, Sheikh Hasina said a vested quarter posed question that why girls will play football and even the competition was not allowed to take place in Rajshahi.
She continued, “When we came to power for second time, I had moved ahead with alternative way and introduced separate football competition for girls and boys in primary and high schools alongside higher levels.”
She went on saying that now the impediment does not exist as they have been continuing playing since their childhood, joining tournaments (Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Football tournaments).
“Once the deadlock is broken, there will be no more obstacles,” she said, mentioning that our religion Islam has given the women equal rights alongside men.
“Even after that there will be some hindrance, but (we) have to keep forwarding to overcome all barriers,” she added.
Mentioning various initiatives taken by her government to promote women’s education and provide opportunities to women in the workplace, the premier said, “We have made women’s education free after forming the government for the first time.”
She said her government also made compulsory the appointment of 60 percent female teachers in every primary school.
“After this landmark decision, a lot of parents did not stop their girls as they realized that at least their daughter will get a job,” the premier said.
She continued that suitable arrangement was made to ensure work for the girls in the community clinic, saying, “I have tried to take initiatives everywhere to promote women”.
Sheikh Hasina also briefly highlighted the initiatives taken by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for womenfolk.
She said the country’s womenfolk will have to be developed if they can materialise the dream of building hunger-and-poverty-free developed and prosperous Bangladesh as envisioned by Father of the Nation.
“We’ve taken the country much ahead and the reason of this development is that men and women are working jointly everywhere,” she added.
The prime minister said Begum Rokeya Day coincides her daughter Saima Wazed Putul’s birthday, also seeking doa and blessing to all for her beloved daughter on the day.
Saima Wazed Putul, the granddaughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is also the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
Sheikh Hasina said Putul has been able to bring massive changes in people’s mindset about autism and differently able children through her works.
In this connection, she said her government is now providing allowances to differently able persons alongside widow and old-aged people.
The premier also mentioned that her government has given acknowledgement to the transgender people constitutionally and is rehabilitating them in the society.