Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all to remain alert to all forms of repression on women, saying that enacting laws was not enough to end the menace.
“We have enacted laws, but only enacting laws is not enough. Both men and women have to be aware so that no one becomes victim of such torture,” she said.
The PM was addressing a programme at the capital’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium, marking the 139th birth and 87th death anniversary of Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain.
Hasina said special attention was needed to ensure the protection of women in all spheres of life.
The PM said Bangladesh was marching ahead in terms of women development. She said an evolution has taken place in the country through the awakening of self-confidence among the womenfolk alongside changing social attitude, thanks to steps taken by the government.
“Bangladesh has also set an example in the world in terms of women development like it has become a role model in economic advancement.”
She said the government was working to further develop the country to materialise the dreams of Begum Rokeya, pioneer of emancipation of women.
Emphasising the need for paying special attention to keep women and children protected, Hasina said her government enacted many laws and framed policies, rules and regulations and it was working to implement those. Besides, rules on child marriage have been formulated to protect girls.
She expressed satisfaction that social awareness has been created against child marriage because of her government’s steps and as a result, the rate of child marriage declined significantly.
The PM said inflicting torture on women and girls is a mental disease which has spread across the world.
Referring to the dreams of Begum Rokeya, she said the great woman wanted to see women stand on their own feet by attaining proper education.
The premier said Bangladesh has now reached such a position where women have stepped to a dignified position and they are working in higher capacities in the administration, judiciary, and armed forces.
“Besides, leader of the House, the Speaker and leader of the opposition in parliament are all females in Bangladesh, which is an example in the world.”
Hasina said the Awami League-led government for the first time posted female officers as secretary, judge, district deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and officer-in-charge of police station.
State Minister for Children and Women Affairs Begum Fazilatunnesa Indira and Secretary Kamrun Nahar also spoke at the programme, organised by the children and women affairs ministry.
Earlier, the PM distributed Begum Rokeya Padak 2019 among the winners. This year, Begum Selina Khalek, Prof Shamsun Nahar, Papri Basu, Begum Akhtar Jahan, and Dr Noorunnahar Fyzennessa (posthumously) have won the award.
Sadya Afreen Mallick, daughter of Dr Noorunnahar, received the award on behalf of her late mother.
Selina Khalek spoke at the programme on behalf of the award recipients.