Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday put emphasis on creating mass awareness in society to eliminate discrimination and violence against women, saying that enactment of laws alone was not enough.
‘Everyone has to remember that enactment of laws alone won’t stop violence and disparities against women. We have to create awareness in society and women and men have to work together to achieve this goal,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while addressing the inaugural function of International Women’s Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs arranged the function with chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on women and children affairs ministry Meher Afroz Chumki in the chair.
United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Bangladesh Mia Seppo was present at the function as a special guest while ministry secretary Kamrun Nahar delivered the welcome address.
The prime minister said that everyone had to remember that no society could be built by leaving half of its population, who were women, behind.
Expressing resentment over the rape of children and women, Hasina said that these were heinous acts.
‘Those who commit these sorts of heinous acts are enemies of the society,’ she said.
She urged all to publicise the names, addresses and pictures of rapists so that people treated them with hatred.
‘While the legal course is there, we have to remember that violence against women prevails not only in Bangladesh but also in developed and civilised countries,’ she said.
The prime minister urged all to remain alert against discrimination against girl children.
‘We all have to work together if we want to build this society,’ she said.
She said that the women of the country had already proved themselves I many fields, outdoing women in many developed and civilised countries around the world.
‘The women of Bangladesh have shown that they can achieve anything,’ she added.
Recalling to the role founder president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in upholding the dignity of women, Hasina said that Mujib had ensured their equal rights in all spheres of life.
She recalled that Mujib had taken various steps to rehabilitate mothers and sisters who were tortured by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local cohorts while many parents did not accept their daughters who were violated during the liberation war.
Hasina said that the successes of women were visible everywhere in Bangladesh and they were now at an equal stage along with their male counterparts in education, sports and creative fields.
She mentioned that the country’s women were now held high positions in all sectors, including the administration, judiciary, education, as well as the armed forces and law-enforcement agencies.
The prime minister also elaborated various steps taken by her government for the development and welfare of women.
About the Lifetime Contribution for Women Empowerment Award given by the Institute of South Asian Women to her, Sheikh Hasina said that she had dedicated the award to the womenfolk of the world, including those in Bangladesh.
A documentary on women empowerment and achievements in Bangladesh was screened at the function.
Earlier, the prime minister distributed the Joyeeta award among the recipients for their achievements in life.
Later, the prime minister witnessed a cultural function and visited the stalls set up by women entrepreneurs.
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