Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday urged the womenfolk to stand on their own feet for their social and economic emancipation as her government paved ways to make the self reliant.
Hasina made the call while addressing a programme on occasion of Begum Rokeya Day and distributing Begum Rokeya Padak-2016 at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka.
She underscored the need for women’s participation in education and necessary training to make them self-depended.
“The government has been giving emphasis on education and training of the women so that each of them attain economic freedom and contribute to build up their family and society,” she said.
She said joint efforts of men and women can build a golden Bangladesh to achieve the target to make the country a middle-income one by 2021 and a development nation by 2041.
The Ministry of Children and Women Affairs organized the programme with State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki in the chair.
Recipients of the Rokaya Padak-2016- Aroma Dutta and Nurjahan Begum, who were given the award this year for their outstanding contribution to socioeconomic development of the country’s women, also spoke on the occasion.
Five women will be given the Rokeya Padak from next year, Hasina announced.
Many women who are silently working in rural areas despite many limitations would be given the award, she added.
The government introduced the award in 1995 after the name of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of women’s liberation movement in the undivided Bengal.
Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain was a leading feminist writer and social worker during the early 20th century and mostly famous for her efforts for gender equality and female education.
The Prime Minister said Rokeya was a beacon of women renaissance and an institution of female education. “Her ideology, writings, strong mentality and working spirit still inspire us” she said.
Hasina highlighted the steps she has taken to improve the conditions of Bangladesh. She recalled the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for unveiling the road to free education for women.
He guaranteed the rights of women in the Constitution and took steps for their free education up to the secondary level, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has undertaken special programme in 428 upazilas of 64 districts for making women aware about their rights. Women representation at every level of the local elected bodies has strengthened their social position at the grassroots, she said.
Women can now work in every sector of the country including administration, judiciary, defence, sports and UN peacekeeping, she said, adding that ‘however the success didn’t come overnight… we have to overcome many obstacles to come to this stage.’
“You have to realize your rights and it’s the reality,” she said, adding that a man also must remember that they should not neglect a woman as he is born, groomed up, nurtured and taken care of by a woman in his whole life circle, according to the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.