Bangladesh is a Role Model in Empowering Women in the World

Hiren Pandit
Women are advancing in the world; the women of Bangladesh are not left out. In particular, the use of information technology has advanced the country’s women’s society by several steps. As well as increased opportunities for empowerment. Half of the population of Bangladesh is women. Like the rest of the world, the government of Bangladesh has given special importance to involving women in the IT sector in the hope of building a digital Bangladesh. According to the Global Gender Gap Index 2020 published by the World Economic Forum, Bangladesh ranks 50th among 153 countries and tops in South Asia. Utilizing the current world’s progress in the digital sector to eliminate gender inequality, so that technology is democratic, humane, and creative in establishing women’s equal rights and combating sexual violence.
Currently, women’s participation is visible in almost all sectors of society. The attendance of girls at the primary level of education is now 100%. A majority of the achievements in the apparel industry are women. But the question arises. In Bangladesh, where women constitute 50 percent of the total population, progress is visible among very few women. Overall development of the country is not possible without the empowerment and development of women.
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, progress must be made in achieving goals 5 and 10. The main spirit of the liberation war was to build a society without discrimination. It is also reflected in the constitution of Bangladesh. But in 52 years have we been able to build a society without discrimination? Even if the terms of the CEDAW Charter are implemented, there is no alternative to eliminate gender discrimination. Reducing discrimination against women and creating equal opportunities through gender-responsive budgeting. Through the proper implementation of gender budgeting, great progress has been achieved in the areas of political, economic and social empowerment of women, gender equality in primary and secondary education, reduction of infant and maternal mortality, health and immunization. Women’s development and empowerment are visible through the socioeconomic progress of women. For this reason, it is necessary to ensure the government’s patronage and financial allocation in the field of women’s employment creation, development as entrepreneurs and social security.
In today’s technological world, the development and use of technology have brought the people of the world closer together. As a result, economic progress has also been achieved along with increased communication. However, since all classes of people do not have equal access to technology, the benefits of this progress have not reached all people equally. The question of how much the existing technology is women-friendly is coming to the fore. Women lag behind greatly in accessing and enjoying its benefits. About 55% of women are still out of technology. Technology has helped human society to turn around. Even the section of women in society who had access to technology also got this benefit. They have shown equal skill in using technology. To be freed from unemployment, and poverty, they have chosen various employment including technology-based entrepreneurs. Continued educational programs with the help of technology, availed various government facilities including training programs. Therefore, women’s access to technology should be increased.
In the 20th century, Begum Rokeya called for the creation of a society based on gender equality, today Bangladesh is moving forward after 52 years. Considering all aspects, it can be said without a doubt that Bangladesh is a role model for women’s empowerment in the world today. Today, Bangladesh leads the world in all the indicators that are used to evaluate women’s empowerment. The Prime Minister of the country is a woman, the speaker of the national parliament is a woman, and the leader of the opposition is a woman. What can be a greater positive condition for the development of women’s society? Various national and international policies, including the constitution of Bangladesh, have given special importance to women’s political-social empowerment and participation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power in 2009 and formulated the National Women Development Policy-2011. Elected a woman to the post of Speaker of the National Parliament. Sheikh Hasina was the first in her cabinet to appoint women as Home Minister and Foreign Minister. The Deputy Leader of the Parliament is also a woman. Some of the civil society members said that if the country’s prime minister, speaker and opposition leader are women, will the empowerment of women be done? It cannot be said, but it is also true that the appointment of women in such important positions has increased the confidence of women, resulting in long-lasting and far-reaching empowerment of women. The provision of women vice chairpersons in upazila parishads and three women members in union parishads to be elected by participating in the elections has been confirmed. Women of Bangladesh are now not only judges, district commissioners, and superintendents of police, but are performing the responsibilities of policy-making and state management with efficiency. Success in all challenging professions including education, medicine, science and technology and diplomatic skills, sports, mountaineering, and working in NASA. In Bangladesh, there are now women officials working in important government secretaries or equivalent positions, including many important ministries, which was not the case earlier. The Sheikh Hasina government appointed the first woman as a High Court judge, the first woman Vice-Chancellor of the University, and the first woman as Major General of the Army.
The position of women officers in the administration is strong. At present, there are 10 people in the rank of senior secretary and secretary and 9 people in DC. 55 female officers of additional secretary rank. Many of them are serving as chairman and director general of various organizations. 164 women are serving as upazila executive officers. 163 women officers are performing government duties in the post of joint secretary. 370 women are holding the post of deputy secretary. Besides, 162 women officers are working in the post of Additional Deputy Commissioner and 133 in the post of Assistant Commissioner (Land). 433 women working in the post of Assistant Secretary/Commissioner are performing duties at the field level. Many are also serving as executive magistrates. Besides, there are 433 officers of the rank of Assistant Secretary and Assistant Commissioner.
In order to advance the country, half of the population should not be left behind from the use of information technology to establish equality between men and women in the implementation of development plans. Equality should be brought about by changing the perspective. Access to information technology should be increased and trained. In this case, there should be an investment plan for women. By expanding the use of information technology, today there is an opportunity to change the perspective of the family, society and the state. Through this women’s human rights, human beings, and creativity will be recognized and established.
As women hold the reins of the world with a strong hand, they are unique in the outside world as well. Despite being subjected to discrimination at various levels of life, women have set precedents in various fields by crossing that barrier. Bangladesh is at the forefront of South Asian countries in terms of reducing gender inequality, to continue this trend of success, women must be prioritized in policy making and allocation of funds. Deterioration in the standard of living due to inflation, loss of employment, reduction in income, etc., is likely to have an adverse impact on women. Then progress in the health and nutritional status of women and girls will be hindered. Strong initiatives are needed to ensure the safety of women everywhere, both at home and outside.
Women at the grassroots level are forced to bear the burden of poverty, free labor at home, low prices for produce, food in exchange for work, or precarious civilian jobs. They do not have access to land use and access to capital, nor do they have access to control power through production. Instead of reinforcing systems that currently exploit women’s cheap labor in development, the causes of social and economic exploitation, which give rise to class and gender inequality, should be explored and analyzed. Women’s family and social empowerment, and safe and women-friendly work environments are needed to achieve equal status for women. Increase in political empowerment and quality or real status.
Although women’s society has made considerable progress in the long journey of the women’s movement, the issue of gender equality has not yet been fully established. It is present not only in Bangladesh but all over the world. The development of the country or society depends on the overall contribution and participation of the people. That is, the desired development is not possible without the participation of half of the population (women) of society. In Bangladesh, women’s participation in the state system and social activities has increased, but it remains far below the desired level. Not only that, violence and deprivation of women have not been significantly reduced. The women’s society of the country is still a victim of various types of family, social and state torture deprivation. 33 percent participation of women in all fields including national politics has not yet been implemented. Empowerment of women at the local government level is not effective. The question remains whether reserved women’s seats and reserved women’s quotas are pushing women further back. Considering the overall situation, everyone says that Bangladesh is a role model for women’s development.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher

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