Sheikh Hasina’s government is implementing comprehensive programs to prevent all forms of violence for economic, social, administrative and political empowerment of women, the establishment of women’s rights, and economic, social, administrative, and political rights. She also arranged free education for girls up to twelfth standard in government educational institutions. Due to this the education rate of women in the country has increased many times. Women are progressing equally because opportunities have been created to advance. Scholarships are being provided to women from primary to post-graduation by setting up Education Assistance Trust Fund. She has made 60% of women teachers mandatory in the recruitment of teachers in every primary school. Her government has made strict laws to prevent child marriage and women abuse. After the birth of the child, earlier only the father’s name was written instead of the guardian, now the mother’s name is also written. As a result of this special initiative of the public leader, the rights and self-respect of mothers in society have been recognized in the paper.
The government has been working tirelessly for the overall development, and economic, social and political empowerment of women in the country. The government is adopting and implementing multi-pronged plans to ensure women’s safety, free entry into the workplace and women’s participation in policy-making, including expansion of women’s education and establishment of women’s rights. Even so, women’s safety at home and outside is taking a dire shape. 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.
The position of women officers in the administration is strong. At present, there are 10 senior secretaries and secretaries, 9 DC and 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 nirbahi 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.
9 women ambassadors are performing their duties efficiently in different countries including the United Nations. In international organizations too, we see the incredible success of Bangladeshi women. The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) based in Italy has nominated three Bangladeshi scientists as TWAS Fellows from around the world in 2020. Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, has been elected President of the UN Women Executive Board for 2022. Engineer Shammi is a Bangladeshi woman who is a Product Manager at Google-Based, Co-Founder of BYLC (Bangladesh with Leadership Center). Bangabandhu’s granddaughter Tulip Siddique, Rushnara Ali, Rupa Haque and Afsana Begum – four Bangladeshi women are now members of the British Parliament. Barrister Sultana Tapadar has been appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) as the first woman of Bangladeshi origin in the UK. Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Ishrat Hasan became the first Bangladeshi to receive the International Pro-Bono Award for her legal fight to protect the rights of women and children. As a result of the empowerment of women by Sheikh Hasina, the girls of Bangladesh were the champions of South Asia on foreign soil.
In today’s technological world, the development and use of technology have brought the people of the world closer together. As a result of this, 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 far behind in accessing and reaping the benefits, with nearly 55% of women still excluded from technology.
Technology has helped human society to turn around. Even the section of women’s society that had access to technology also benefited from it. 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. Continued professional work from home through the use of technology. Access to justice through technology. Various negative uses of technology have been countered.
Bangladesh is moving forward on the path of creating a society based on gender equality. Standing on the golden jubilee of Bangladesh, it can be said without a doubt that Bangladesh is a role model in the empowerment of women in the world today. Today, Bangladesh leads the world in all the indicators that are used to evaluate women’s empowerment. This has been possible due to the leadership of the greatest Bengali father of the nation Bangabandhu and his daughter Sheikh Hasina. As a result of these safety net programs, grassroots and marginalized women have begun to break down age-old patriarchal mindsets, reforming taboos and fences. The active presence and extraordinary success of women in the field of education in Bangladesh highlight this reality.
Sheikh Hasina’s government has formulated a women-friendly budget with the aim of building a women-friendly society through women’s development and women’s empowerment. The current government has involved women in all areas, levels and sectors of development by formulating a women-friendly budget. Today there is a proud walk of women in all professional fields including politics, foreign policy, law-making, policy-making, finance, information technology, and sports.
The country’s prime minister, opposition leader, vice-chancellor, and judges have confirmed the position 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.
Women have always been disenfranchised, more so in some areas. The reason for this is that what is active in our minds is to keep women alive, not to give them rights. In this society, women are victims of mental abuse more than they are physically abused. Still, now the women have to endure insults step by step. It is a shame that this society still does not respect women as human beings or give equal importance to women’s human rights. However, as a result of the successful implementation of various initiatives of the current government, women’s development is clearly visible today. Through the successful participation of women in business, politics, judiciary, administration, diplomacy, armed forces, law enforcement, and peacekeeping missions, the country is gradually progressing on the path of development.
Bangabandhu 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. And so 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.
Awami League government has had many achievements in 14 years. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government has implemented various initiatives for the development of women and children through the implementation of Vision 2021. Now the goal is to achieve the SDGs in 2030 and to achieve a developed Smart Bangladesh in 2041. For the policies, laws and regulations made for the development of women and children in the last 14 years, the government has made several laws and regulations for the development of women and children in the last 14 years. Notable among them are – the National Women’s Development Policy 2011; National Child Policy 2011; Integrated Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development 2013; Psychosocial Counseling Policy 2016 (Draft); an Action plan for implementation of National Women Development Policy 2013-2015; Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010; Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Act, 2014; Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Regulations 2013; Child Marriage Prevention Act, 2017
Joy Mobile Apps Prime Minister’s Office’s Service Innovation Fund This app is used to provide immediate assistance to women and children who are victims of torture or are at risk of torture. In the field of education, the High Court has recognized the father as well as the mother or ‘legal guardian’ in various forms related to student information. As a result, women got the recognition they deserved in society after a long wait. As a result, of this judgment of the High Court, students can now fill out the form by mentioning any of these three options – father or mother or legal guardian.
Internationally, Sheikh Hasina has been honored with various awards for her unique contribution to her strong leadership, far-reaching thinking, and wisdom for the empowerment and progress of women has made it possible to achieve incredible financial prosperity, development and growth in Bangladesh despite economic, social and natural obstacles. Therefore, the success of Bangladeshi women around the world should be matched and followed today. Women have contributed in every field from great independence. Therefore, the empowerment of the people is possible through the empowerment of women. Because half of the country’s population is women. It is hoped that under the efficient leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh will achieve the SDG targets by 2030 and enter a developed and prosperous world based on gender equality by 2041, with the full and equal participation of women in socio-economic activities and the empowerment of women.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher