Students at Independent University, Bangladesh, in association with UN Women Bangladesh held a gender fair and photography competition last month to promote the HeForShe campaign.
HeForshe is a solidarity campaign initiated by UN Women in 2004 to encourage people of all genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative gender stereotypes and discrimination. IUB is the first university in Bangladesh to unite with this initiative.
The event took place against the backdrop of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, starting from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.
Shoko Ishikawa, Country Representative of UN Women Bangladesh and Professor M Omar Rahman, the Vice-Chancellor of IUB were present as guests of honour at the event.
Shoko Ishikawa explained how the HeForShe campaign aims to mobilise men to support gender equality. She also shed light on the existing statistics of sexual harassment using a recent UN Women Bangladesh’s situational analysis, which revealed that in eight universities, 76 per cent of female students were reportedly victims and survivors of sexual harassment.
Professor M Omar Rahman appreciated the initiative and congratulated UN Women Bangladesh for organising the event. He expressed his pride in seeing women of Bangladesh paving the way in the progressive development of the nation.
The daylong event hosted a number of booths arranged by students displaying artworks, selling bakery items and offering interactive gaming experiences – all following the theme of gender equality. As for the photography competition, from over 60 entries, 20 selected photographs were displayed in the university gallery and three winners were awarded.