Women MPs vow to ensure women's empowerment | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 11, 2009

Women MPs vow to ensure women's empowerment


Women lawmakers pose for photograph at a reception at Spectra Convention Centre in the city yesterday. Manusher Jonno Foundation organised the reception.
Photo: STAR

Women lawmakers yesterday vowed to work towards ensuring women's empowerment and to be vocal on women's rights issues in parliament.
At a reception ceremony organised by Manusher Jonno Foundation, the women MPs who are elected for the first time shared their experiences, struggle, electioneering and their priorities.
"I will work for the development of the country," Meher Afroz Chumki, a lawmaker from Gazipur-5 constituency, said, adding that she would also work to promote female education, raise awareness about women's rights and implement the Women Development Policy.
At the programme, women's rights activists placed a 13-point recommendation with a call for women lawmakers to help enact the Right to Information (RTI) Act and increase the number of reserved seats for women in parliament and introduce direct election to them.
"We want women MPs to focus on policy-making issues rather than dealing with issues concerning road construction and building of bridges and culverts," said President of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad Ayesha Khanam.
Political empowerment of women is vital to establishing good governance, said Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation.
"We had demanded that the political parties nominate more women for the national elections. Accordingly, the political parties gave nominations to an increased number of women. As a result, more women candidates were elected to parliament this time," she said.
The recommendations also called on women MPs to help withdraw reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), enact laws to curb domestic violence and ensure equal rights of women.
The rights activists also urged women lawmakers to strengthen the role of women leaders at upazila and union parishad levels, create an environment in their political parties so that the local women leaders can play active role and form a caucus on women issue outside parliament.
An institutional system should be established in every constituency to hear the people regularly and to create accountability of the MPs and a women's rights commission should be formed, they added.
Rumana Mahmud, a lawmaker from Sirajganj-2, Mahbub Ara Begum Gini from Gaibandha-2, Habibun Nahar from Bagerhat-3, Rebecca Momin from Netrakona-4, Segufta Yasmin from Munshiganj-2, Sara Begum Kobori from Narayanganj-4 and Nilufer Zafar Ullah attended the reception ceremony.
Women's rights activists Rasheda K Chowdhury, Farida Akhter and Salma Khan also spoke at the programme.

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