Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday put emphasis on creating mass awareness in society to eliminate discrimination and violence against women saying that only enacting laws is not enough to get this done.
“Everyone must remember one thing: enacting laws only won't help stop violence and disparities against women... we have to create awareness in society. To make that happen, women and men have to work together,” she said.
The prime minister (PM) was addressing a programme marking International Women's Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs arranged the event presided over by Meher Afroze Chumki, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children Affairs Ministry.
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh Mia Seppo was present as a special guest while ministry Secretary Kamrun Nahar delivered the welcome address.
The prime minister and women and children affairs minister said that we must remember that no society can be built leaving half of its population behind.
“For that, we also have to work together... this is the most urgent matter,” she added.
Expressing her deep resentment over rape of children and women, Hasina said this is very much outrageous indeed. “Those who commit this sort of heinous crimes are enemies of the society,” she said.
She urged all to publicise the names, addresses and pictures of rapists properly so that people treat them with hatred.
“The legal course is also there, but this problem not only exists in Bangladesh, it plagues more developed countries as well,” she said.
The prime minister urged all to remain alert against discrimination against girl children as well. “We all have to work unitedly if we want to build this society.”
Recalling the role of Father of the Nation in upholding the dignity of women, Hasina said Bangabandhu ensured equal rights for everyone in all spheres of life.
While talking about Bangabandhu's various steps taken for rehabilitation of those mothers and sisters who were tortured by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local cohorts, she said many parents did not accept their daughters who were victims during the 1971 Liberation War.
Hasina said the successes of women can be seen everywhere in Bangladesh.
She mentioned that the country's women are now in working in higher-level positions in all sectors like administration, judiciary, education, as well as defence and law enforcement.
The PM also elaborated various steps taken by her government for the development and welfare of women.
About the “Lifetime Contribution for Women Empowerment Award” she received from Institute of South Asian Women (ISAW), Hasina said, she dedicated the award to the womenfolk of the world including those in Bangladesh.
A documentary on women empowerment and their achievements in Bangladesh was screened at the programme.
Earlier, the prime minister distributed “Joyeeta” awards among outstanding women for their achievements in life.
Later, she attended the cultural programme and visited women entrepreneurs' stalls.