Three hill councils without woman members for 20 yrs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 27, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 27, 2009

Three hill councils without woman members for 20 yrs

Ignoring constitutional provision to ensure representation and participation of women in every sector, three Hill District councils (HDC) have been running without female members since their inception in 1989.
To ensure participation of each indigenous ethnic community, the then government in 1989 introduced three specialized local government organizations -- Bandarban Hill District Council (BHDC), Rangamati Hill District Council (RHDC) and Khagrachari Hill District Council (KHDC), in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) under direct election for three years duration.
But 20 years have passed when no female members have been included in these local government councils.
Meantime, these important local government units have been run by selected interim councils for the last 16 years.
As each successive government formed a new council for each HDC when they came to power, partisan members replaced these interim councils, said local people.
In the beginning, these HDCs were formed with 31 members including one chairman by direct election. But there was not any system to ensure women's representation in CHT. There has been no development in the matter as different governments formed selected interim councils.
Official sources informed that the interim HDCs are formed with one chairman and four members. Among them the chairman and three members are selected from indigenous people and one member is selected from Bangalees. But no step has been taken by the government to ensure women's participation.
However, there are four female members among 22 members of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council (CHTRC) since its beginning in 1998.
Local people have demanded ensuring women's representation in each HDC in CHT area as soon as possible. It should be done following the provision for women's quota in Jatiya Sangsad and CHTRC, they said.
“As a new government has assumed power, the interim councils for three Hill District Councils are going to be formed within a short time. It is the best time to ensure the women's participation in the councils,” Ching Saw Prue Keyche, a member of present interim BHDC, said.

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