Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government has taken every possible measure to empower women in every sector and ensure their rights, adding, “Bangladesh has been able to materialise the dream of Begum Rokeya”.
“The women don’t lag behind in any sector due to the initiatives of my government,” she said.
The premier made the remarks while addressing a programme as the chief guest on the “Begum Rokeya Day-2023” and distribution of “Begum Rokeya Padak-2023” to five noted women marking 143rd birth and 91st death anniversary of Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs arranged the programme commemorating the contribution of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of Bangalee women’s education and a social reformer ensuring equal rights for women and men, at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium here.
The prime minister said they have taken a lot of measures to ensure women’s empowerment as envisioned by Begum Rokeya.
“We have guaranteed equal rights for the men and women creating job opportunities for them,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said economic solvency is the most important thing for women’s empowerment.
“We have always been trying that the women can stand on their feet which will help them to be empowered,” she said.
Referring to Rokeya’s dream that women will be judges and barristers, she said her dream has come to reality as the women are seizing all the opportunities with their abilities.
The premier said before the country’s independence, it was illegal for a woman to become a judge. When this legal bar was lifted by the initiative of the Father of the Nation, Nazmun Ara Sultana had become the first women judge in the lower court, she said.
She also said her government later made Nazmun Ara as the first women judge in the High Court and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
The head of the government said she had a dream to appoint a woman as the country’s Chief Justice which has yet been materialise.
She urged all the countrymen to pray for her only daughter Saima Wazed Putul as today is also her birthday.
The five award recipients are – the first female vice-chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Professor Khaleda Ekram (posthumous) of Bogura for women’s education, noted reproductive health expert Dr. Halida Hanum Akhter of Rangpur for establishing women’s rights, Kamrunnesa Ashraf Dina (posthumous) of Netrakona for her contributions to the socio-economic development of women, Ronita Bala of Thakurgaon for rural development and Nishat Mazumder (Mountaineer) of Lakshmipur district for her contribution to the awakening of women.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira, MP, and Secretary Nazma Mobarek, spoke on the occasion.
On behalf of the award winners, Nishat Majumder expressed her feelings on winning the award.
Each of the awardees has got a gold medal, a certificate and a cheque of Taka 4 lakh.