Parliamentary body’s recommendation on female UNO: JSD MP Shirin Akhter demands PM’s intervention
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal MP Shirin Akhter today demanded intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to prevent implementation of the recommendation of a parliamentary committee to exclude women officers in giving 'guard of honour' to heroic freedom fighters after death.
Shirin Akhter, also general secretary of JSD, made the demand while speaking on a point of order in parliament.
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present in parliament at the time.
Pointing to the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on the Liberation War Affairs Ministry, Shirin said, "I am surprised, shocked and upset that my colleagues have made such recommendations. The Constitution says that there can be no discrimination between men and women. We are stunned that this happened in the country."
According to the rules, after the death of a heroic freedom fighter, the concerned district/ upazila administration will show him/her state honours. DC or UNO has to remain at that time as a representative of the government. Officials representing the government pay their respects to the freedom fighters placing wreaths on the coffin.
In many places, there are women officers in charge of the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, and with that, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has raised objections.
The parliamentary standing committee on June 13 recommended taking necessary measures to find alternatives to a female upazila nirbahi officer's presence during the guard of honour given to valiant freedom fighters after death.
A member in the meeting said usually women do not take part in namaz-e-janaza. Many in society raise questions about this. Therefore, in case of giving the guard of honour to a freedom fighter, it is necessary to give the charge to a male officer where the UNO is a female.
In that case, assistant commissioner (land), upazila education officer, upazila agriculture officer or any such officer could be kept as alternative persons for the job.
The committee's recommendations triggered huge criticism, saying such suggestion breaches the country's Constitution that ensures equal rights for men and women.
Speaking on this issue, Shirin Akhter today told the parliament that the standing committee has argued that since women cannot take part in namaz-e-janaza, they cannot give guard of honour to the valiant freedom fighters.
Shirin argued that janaza and guard of honour are not the same.
"Such recommendations have come from the pro-liberation forces at a time when radicalism is emerging across the country. I seek the intervention of the honourable Prime Minister so that such an unwanted decision is not implemented," she said.