Women attain huge progress despite hurdles: campaigners

Staff Correspondent | Published at 11:57pm on March 09, 2021

Women’s rights activists and academics on Tuesday said that women in Bangladesh had attained massive progress in last 100 years despite huge limitations.

They also said that many challenges are still prevail and that should be addressed by the stakeholders, including the government, family and society.

They came up with the opinions at a two-day international e-conference on ‘Women in 100 years changes and challenges in the light of development goals and COVID- 19.’

Women and gender studies department of Dhaka University organised the online conference in collaboration with the UNDP, UKAID and the Urban Development Journalists Forum, Bangladesh.

DU vice-chancellor Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman was present as the chief guest at the inaugural event presided over by Sanzida Akhter, chairperson of the department of women and gender studies.

The programme was moderated by Aditi Sabur, assistant professor of the department.

Professor Rounaq Jahan, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue in her keynote presentation said that women did tremendous changes in the country in last 100 years in all the fields including power, business, agriculture, education, administration and healthcare.

‘Women are employed in Army, police and administration despite gender discrimination, she said.

She said that in 1970 only four per cent women worked outside the house which was 36 per cent this time although many women work in the informal sector of the country.

She said that Bangladesh is the only country in the world where women led government has been prevailing for last 30 years and challenges for women still there.

DU social science faculty dean Professor Sadeka Halim said that the COVID-19 pushed many women to joblessness.

Akhtaruzzaman said that there were some promising areas for the development of women that the researchers could explore.

UDJFB vice-president Kamrun Nahar said women become self-esteemed by own efforts not by the help of another.

Among others, women and gender studies department emeritus professor Najma Chowdhury, UNDPfunded local government’s livelihoods improvement of urban poor communities project director Abdul Abdul Mannan and British High Commission official Farzana Mustafa spoke at the programme.

DU proVC ASM Maksud Kamal is scheduled to be present as the chief guest in the closing session of the two-day conference while a number of scholars from different countries will present their articles at the programme.