Panels keep narrow room for women, marginalised groups

Sadiqur Rahman and Arifur Rahman | Published: 00:19, Mar 02,2019


Only 30 female students amongst 231 candidates from 10 panels are contesting for the 25 positions in the elections to the Dhaka University Central Students Union scheduled for March 11.
Three students from ethnic minority communities and one visually impaired student representing physically challenged people are contesting in the elections. One of the ethnic minority candidates is also a physically challenged student.
Former DUCSU vice-president (1966-67) Mahfuza Khanam expressed her frustration over the poor participation of female students as well as marginalised communities.
She told New Age on Friday that student organisations claiming themselves progressive should have nominated more female students.
Dhaka University alumna and Bangladesh Visually Impaired People’s Society general secretary Nazma Ara Begum Popy, however, said she was happy with the participation of differently able students in the polls.
Dhaka University authorities on Wednesday published the primary list of candidates in the polls.
The 231 candidates are contesting for 25 positions in the central students union the — vice-president, general secretary, assistant general secretary, nine secretaries and 13 members.
The ruling Awami League-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League nominated seven female students and one ethnic minority cum physically challenged student in its panel, Sammilita Shiksharti Parishad.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party-backed Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal nominated one female student and no from religious and ethnic minority or physically challenged student.
Chhatra Dal general secretary Akramul Hasan said that aspirants from religious and ethnic minority communities collected nomination forms but finally ceased to submit on security reasons.
Left-leaning Pragatishil Chhatra Jote and Samrajyabad Birodhi Chhatra Oikya jointly nominated one female student, one visually impaired student and two ethnic minority students for the central union.
Quota reform protesters’ platform Shadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakshan Parishad fielded one female student and none from religious or ethnic minority communities and physically challenged students.
Chhatra Mukti Jote fielded seven female students and none ethnic minority or physically challenged student.
Workers Party of Bangladesh-backed Chhatra Maitree nominated four female students for the central union, including general secretary and assistant general secretary.
Independent group Satantra Jote nominated three female students, including one for vice-president, but no ethnic minority or physically challenged student.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal affiliated Bangladesh Chhatra League nominated three female students and independent group Shwadhikar Satantra Parishad fielded one female student.
Bangladesh Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-backed Chhatra League nominated two female students and none from ethnic minority of physically challenged students.
In the DUCSU polls, 20 candidates would vie for the position of vice-president, 12 for general secretary and 13 for the assistant general secretary.
In the polls, 11 students are contesting for liberation war affairs secretary, 9 for science and technology affairs secretary, 9 common room and cafeteria secretary, 13 for international affairs secretary, eight for literature secretary, 12 for cultural secretary, 11 for sports secretary post, 10 for student transport secretary, 15 for social welfare secretary and 88 for the position of members.
Dhaka University scheduled for March 3 publish the final list of candidates.

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