Equal participation of men, women needed for country's overall development: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Published on March 9, 2024
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday stressed the necessity of womenfolk's more engagement to the development process, saying equal participation of both men and women is needed for the country's overall development.

"Today, if we have to progress economically further, women and men can build the country equally with their labor because half of the society is women," she said while addressing a function marking the celebration of International Women's Day.

The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs organised the function in the city's Osmani Memorial auditorium where the Premier, as the chief guest, also conferred "Best Joyeeta Award-2023" at the national level to five women as recognition to attaining success in different fields by overcoming difficulties and challenges, BSS reports.

Mentioning the women as the half part of the society, Sheikh Hasina said if the half of the society does not work then that society cannot stand and can't be advanced further.

"We can move forward only if men and women work equally. Today, we are moving forward because we have ensured (women's participation) this," she added.

The Prime Minister said it is her optimism in this international women's day that "Our women will never be left behind".

Referring to ensuring the constitutional rights of women given by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League, said that her party is the only political party in the country which has mentioned the equal rights of men and women in its constitution and manifesto.

"Not, just for say, but Awami League has shown it when it came to power," she added.

The Premier said her government has created opportunities, but the womenfolk should also come forward. "Don't stay at home. Because women do most of the work in society."

Mentioning a statistic which shows participation of women is 43 percent in terms of labor, she noted that they (women) do more extra work even after returning home from office which is not being calculated.

This year, the best Joyeeta awardees are-- Anar Koli (economics), Kallyani Minji (education and employment), Komoli Robi Dash (successful mother), Jahanara Begum (repression prevention) and Pakhi Dutta Hijra (social development).

With State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Simeen Hussain Rimi in the chair, Secretary of the Ministry Nazma Mobarek delivered the welcome address.

On behalf of the Joyeeta Awardees, Kallyani Minji expressed her feelings upon receiving the award.

Each of the awardees received a cheque of Taka one lakh, crest, and certificate.

At the outset, a documentary on women and the activities of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs was screened.

"Joyeeta" (victorious), a woman who reaches the peak of success by conquering all hurdles, means it is the symbolic name of a struggling and indomitable woman.

The government introduced the award to Joyeetas in five categories: the women who achieved success economically, the women who earned success in education and jobs, the successful mothers, the women who turned around by wiping out the dark days of torture, and the women who contributed to social development.

Referring to their announcement of building digital Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said: "We have built digital Bangladesh, and now our goal is to build a Smart Citizen, Smart Government, Smart Economy and Smart Society by 2041".

"If womenfolk are more involved in this journey of building a Smart Bangladesh, then we can reach our desired goal faster," she added.

Sheikh Hasina also mentioned about the appointment of the country's first female Superintendent of Police in Munshiganj district and recruitment of females in the country's armed forces-- Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force-- and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

Referring to the success of women in various fields, she said, "It wouldn't have happen (getting success) if women had not been given the opportunities."
"My father (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) always said that economic emancipation of girls is the biggest freedom," the premier added.

She further said: "I can't but praise the work of the women where I have appointed them . . . they have shown their greatest efficiency."

Highlighting the appointment of two women in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, Sheikh Hasina said: "The two women secretaries got the opportunity to work for these organisations. I want to prove that Bangladeshi women have the skills to work not only in the country but also at the international level. We have come a long way since then," she added.