Bring Russia, Ukraine to table to end conflict
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday made an appeal to world leaders to bring Russia and Ukraine to the table for dialogue and end their conflict.
"I call upon the world leaders and all others to stop the Russia-Ukraine war," she said.
The PM was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day seminar on International Women Peace and Security.
Armed Forces Division, the foreign ministry and Bangladesh Police organised the event at the Army Multipurpose Complex in Dhaka Cantonment.
Hasina said if there is any conflict between countries, it can be resolved through dialogue and political discussion.
"We don't want any war. We don't want to see any human being living a life of a refugee. Because I have that kind of experience. That's why we want peace."
Stressing the need for women empowerment, the premier said women are the most vulnerable section of the society and they suffer most during any conflict and disaster.
"It is beyond question that women are the most vulnerable section of the society, especially in the third world countries. They suffer from various forms of violence, malnutrition, illiteracy and other basic needs. Their plights multiply during any conflict and disaster," she said.
Hasina said that to address the peace and security issues of women, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution number 1,325 which established the Women Peace and Security agenda, and Bangladesh is proud to be a part of the resolution's formulation.
She said Bangladesh since its independence has been working on promoting women in all spheres of national life. Bangladesh's constitution, framed under the guidance of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, guarantees equal rights of women, the PM added.
The government has formulated Women Policy 2011, under which it has taken measures to ensure women's overall development and active participation in the mainstream socio-economic activities, she said.
Hasina said women's increased participation and contribution in sectors like politics, administration, education, businesses, sports, armed forces have been transforming the socio-economic landscape of Bangladesh.
Gender parity in Bangladesh, she said, has improved across all sectors due to greater participation of women in socio-economic and political activities.
"Bangladesh is at the top position in gender equality among South Asian countries," she told the seminar.
Hasina said Bangladesh is a role model for women's participation in peacekeeping, peace-building, disaster management, and preventing violent extremism.
In this regard, she said that her government had opened the door for women to be recruited in armed forces during her first tenure in government in 1996.
The PM said Bangladesh is currently the largest contributor of female peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions. So far, 704 female peacekeepers from Bangladesh Armed Forces have participated in UN peacekeeping operations. Currently 373 female members are deployed in different peacekeeping missions.
"On the other hand, a total of 1,624 female police officers from Bangladesh Police have taken part in peacekeeping operations and 150 officers are currently working," she added.
Hasina said that she was glad to know that the seminar participants would interact with the Rohingyas, forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals from Rakhine state.
"We have given them shelter on humanitarian grounds. We could understand their plights and miseries as we had to undergo similar experience during our Liberation War in 1971. The interactive session, I hope, will be a great experience for the participants to understand the victims of war and conflict."
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also spoke at the programme.