Recommendation for alternative of female UNOs for guard of honour ‘humiliating’ for women freedom fighters: Menon
Workers Party President and lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon, today in parliament, lambasted a parliamentary standing committee for its recommendation to take measures to find alternatives to a female upazila nirbahi officer's (UNO) presence during the guard of honour given to valiant freedom fighters after death.
Participating in the discussion on the proposed budget for 2021-22 fiscal, Menon said such recommendation is tantamount to humiliation to women who sacrificed their lives and were subjected to rape during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
"Such humiliation [towards the country's women] cannot be accepted," Menon also said.
The parliamentary standing committee on Liberation War Affairs Ministry on Sunday 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.
The parliamentary watchdog came up with the recommendation in a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with Awami League lawmaker Shajahan Khan in the chair.
The committee's recommendations triggered widespread criticism, saying such suggestion is a breach of the country's Constitution that ensures equal rights for men and women.
According to meeting sources, a committee member raised the "issue of guard of honour given to a freedom fighter where the UNO concerned is a female".
The member 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 in jurisdictions where the UNO is female, it is necessary to give the charge to a male officer.
In that case, assistant commissioner (land), upazila education officer, upazila agriculture officer or any such officer could be alternative persons for the job.
Shajahan Khan, chief of the parliamentary body, said AL MP Rafiqul Islam also raised the matter of not giving the guard of honour at night.
"For this reason, the committee has recommended giving the guard of honor during the day. UNOs usually do the job," he added.