Gender Equality is Essential for a Sustainable Future

Hiren Pandit

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman confirmed the equal rights of women in all spheres of national life in the constitution. Women have contributed to the progress and development of civilization throughout the ages with their talent and labor. The attitude towards women is changing all over the world. Now women’s work is being valued, recognition is increasing. Bangladesh is now a role model for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

To establish proper status and recognition of women in national life, the government has signed several international policies and charters including the UN CEDAW Charter. After all this, why will women be left behind? Many countries have made considerable progress in terms of gender equality. It is also possible in Bangladesh. What is needed is political will and commitment to implement that will. Increasing public awareness and promoting modern education can be important means of implementing these programs.

The contribution of women around the world, climate change adaptation, mitigation, and building a more sustainable future for all are praise-worthy. Advancing gender equality in the wake of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the century. Climate change and sustainability issues have, and will continue to have serious and lasting impacts on our environment, and economic and social development. Those who are most vulnerable and marginalized feel their effects most profoundly. Women are increasingly recognized as more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than men.

Although women have made considerable progress in the long journey of the women’s movement, the issue of gender equality has not yet been fully established. This image is visible not only in Bangladesh but everywhere in the world. But the development of the country or society depends on the overall contribution and participation of the people.

The desired development is not possible without the participation of half of the population (women) in society. Indeed, the participation of women in the state system and social activities in Bangladesh has increased,but it is far below the desired level. Not only that, the oppression and deprivation of women have also 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.

The deprivation of women workers in the industry is a hot topic. The Dowry system, child marriage, religious superstitions, dominance of patriarchal attitudes in family life, customs, old mindsets etc. are big obstacles in the way of women’s progress. Constant efforts to overcome these are going on in the country. Various initiatives are being taken at the government and private levels. But it is not possible to completely erase the traditional social image of the time.

The International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women was observed and 16 days of the special global campaign against gender-based violence started. Needless to say, violence against women is a global crisis. That is why we have seen many global initiatives to protect women’s rights, especially violence against women. This 16-day special campaign is not out of it. Apart from this, some activities deserve special discussion. There are two sections dealing with violence against women in SDGs. Target 5.2 states – ‘End all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking, sexual harassment and other forms of exploitation, both at home and outside the home and target 16.1; Significantly reduce all forms of violence and violence-related deaths everywhere and 16.2; Ending all forms of violence against children, abuse and exploitation and abhorrent activities such as child trafficking.’

Information is very important in any field. Although there is a considerable gap in data on violence against women, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) initiative must be commended. The BBS first surveyed violence against women in 2011. After this BBS survey in 2015. But special surveys can be done to uncover the root causes of violence. At the same time, monitoring is also important in this case. The discussion we are having in 2022, if we have the same discussion in 2025 or 2030, it cannot happen. It is also necessary to see how far we have progressed in these eight years. We believe better results can be obtained and collective initiative will also prevent violence against women.

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 socio-economic 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.

We know that to properly establish women’s human rights; everyone’s perspective needs to change. The attitude of society and the state towards women which practice starts from within the family. In our society, sons are still more desirable and cherished than daughters and that is why sons are preferred.

Violence against women cannot continue like this in society. It is a violation of human rights. From a social justice perspective, this must stop. Violence is a barrier to women’s participation in the economic sphere and at various levels of society. In Bangladesh, women’s participation in the economy has not been widespread. Violence against women back as well as society as a whole. Apart from that, violence also greatly impacts women’s health. It is a kind of trauma for many. That trauma can also affect the next generation.

In 1981, a women’s conference in Latin America declared November 25 as the International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women. In 1993, the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna recognized the day. The United Nations officially recognized the observance of the day on December 17, 1999.The International Day of Protest against Violence against Women in Bangladesh is being celebrated by the Committee since 1997. This day is celebrated with due dignity in order to create awareness about women’s abuse.

The world is moving forward, social structure is changing, and civilization is developing. There is a wind of change in people’s lifestyles. But surprisingly, the truth is, the violence against women has not stopped. The word ‘woman’ is being abused and exploited every day, every moment since ancient times.Women constitute almost half of the total population of the world and their contribution to the development of society is undeniable. But still in general they are still not equal to men in terms of peace, security and rights. But it is because of this woman that a child sees the light of the world, a good sign of a beautiful life.

But the life of women in our society is only marked as a little woman, who has no existence. Both men and women have equal rights in our society. But how much do women get this right? They are deprived of rights in every sphere of life.

There is no end to this torture. Acid terror, eviction, family terror, dowry, rape, fatwa, maid torture and many other tortures can be mentioned.Even though the empowerment of women has happened in modern times, violence against women has not stopped. But there is no proper use of law in the country. Therefore, violence against women is not decreasing.Rather, it is increasing. But the most insulting conscience is when we see women being oppressed by women.There is no room to underestimate the contribution of women to the development of human civilization. The life that began millions of years ago with the joint efforts of cavemen and women gradually evolved into the creation of today’s civilization. The interests of men and women are one and the same.

Therefore, women should not be seen as the issue of undermining and should be given their proper status. Women should be freed from all curses. Women are constantly abused in one form or another. Most of the abused women bear the torture in silence. This violence is a serious threat or hindrance to the progress of women.It is natural that violence against women will affect all areas of society. Therefore, everyone should play their role to stop all kinds of torture and violence against women. Let’s join hands together and stand against this evil social scourge.

It is important to understand the social ideology of violence against women. It is necessary to understand how those who work to prevent violence see the issue, and the attitude of the state institutions. It is also necessary to find out the root causes of why women are victims of violence. Investigating why women’s economic participation is stuck at 36-37 percent, the impact of violence is there. It is equally important to inculcate social attitudes and social values toward women.

As a matter of policy, proper sex education should be kept in mind when taking steps to prevent violence. It cannot be denied that our efforts to protect women legally are sufficient. Laws are strong enough to prevent violence against women. We have seen, the amendment of the colonial period Evidence Act has been passed by adding a provision that the character and past sexual behavior of the victim cannot be questioned during the cross-examination in the case of rape or attempted rape without the permission of the court. If the woman is interrogated after being subjected to violence; That is sad. For that, we want to ensure that women-friendly institutional arrangements and those who work there are sympathetic to women. Cybercrime has also increased with the growth of the internet. Women are subjected to various forms of violence there. So, we want to take more steps to increase the cyber security of women.

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.

Hiren Pandit is a
columnist and a researcher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *