No board for women | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 01, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 01, 2017

No board for women

"You see, the election was free and fair and our president [BCB president Nazmul Hassan] didn't have any interference," a long-serving board member willingly told two reporters who were congratulating him on retaining his directorship unopposed at the country's richest sports body.

Despite twenty directors out of twenty three being elected unopposed, the contest for those three posts made that veteran official very happy. And there was no shortage of noise inside the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur either as a significant number of supporters of former national skipper and ruling party parliament member Naimur Rahman amplified the atmosphere by chanting slogans.

However, in reality everything was almost done and dusted well before the day of the election to ensure Hassan and his men would run the show for another term, so there could not have been much interest surrounding the cash-rich sports body's elections. But the one thing that went unnoticed and demands attentions is the under representation of women in the running of the show, especially when there is a women's wing and a national women's cricket team.

When that particular bearded official's attention was drawn to that issue, he informed that the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) initiative of creating the post of an independent director meant that they could use the opportunity and fill the post by appointing a woman. However one of his colleagues who was standing beside him agreed that they should focus on the issue.

When asked about the under representation of women in the board, the BCB boss Hassan only said: "Okay, we will look into the matter."

There is clear evidence that women's participation and its necessity have hardly got any interest among the board higher-ups, which is why in the whole process only three women got involved as councillors -- Soma Alam Rahman from Legends of Rupganj, Zakia Tazin of National Sports Council (NSC) and Engineer Firoza Karim of Bangladesh Mohila Krira Sangstha. Not a single woman was given the chance to share the honour of being seated at the 23-member executive board.

The Bangladesh government -- which has a national medium-term development plan committed to transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 -- considers women's engagement in decision making across all spheres of life a cross-cutting issue, with women's empowerment one of the main drivers of its transformation.

Bangladesh has made significant progress in promoting the objectives of ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women and it is believed that empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development.

So a very important and popular organisation like the BCB cannot overlook the demands of time.

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