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Last modified on Monday, 11 March 2013 18:00

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2013

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12 March 2013, Dhaka. On March 9, 2013 BRAC joined the international community to celebrate International Women's Day along with Samajik Protirodh Committee, a platform of 67 women and human rights organisations. A gathering and rally was held at the Central Shaheed Minar on the occasion. Rights activist Saheen Anam chaired the gathering; Chiroranjan Sarker of BRAC read the declaration of the programme, which was conducted by Rekha Chowdhury, the secretary of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad.

The committee placed a list of demands for women’s development including the increase in the number of reserved seat for women members in the parliament to one-third for the next two terms and direct election in those positions. Hence, areas for holding election have to be specified and the associated bill must be submitted in the current session of the parliament. There should also be arrangements for representation of the less fortunate groups of the society. Samajik Protirodh Committee will pursue their movement until these demands are fulfilled.

The declaration also demanded the amendment of the national constitution for fulfilling this goal. Ensuring one-third women’s participation in the political parties of the country has also become crucial as severe gender discrimination exists in political representation. The speakers noted that though women’s movement is growing worldwide, they still face discriminated and fall prey to violence in social, political and economic spheres. Emphasis was given on establishing constitutional paragraphs related to local government; women vice chairmen of the Upazillas should be allowed to participate in planning and development programmes to strengthen local government; an environment has to be created where indigenous people, differently able people, members of trans-gender group, religious minority groups along with women representatives elected in every level of local government can get the opportunity to perform their responsibilities in the parliament and local government structure. It is reiterated to reestablish secularism in the constitution like that of 1972. Other demands in the declaration include punishment to the war criminals of ’71; allocation of resources for specific responsibilities of women parliamentarians; establishing women’s equal rights in wealth and resources, implementation of CEDAW convention without any reservation etc. Above all, gender equality in the wages must be ensured in all sectors, be it formal or non-formal.

After the gathering, a procession was brought out from Shaheed Minar which finished at TSC of Dhaka University. Balloons decorated with slogan of women’s day were flown into the air from the base of the Shaheed Minar. BRAC goodwill ambassador, Wasfia Nazreen expressed her solidarity with the programme.

 

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