Progress not possible without women’s participation: PM

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the country’s ‘meaningful progress’ is not possible leaving out the womenfolk, the half of the total population, from the development process, reports UNB.
“No nation could witness meaningful development leaving out its one segment … so we want to move forward taking with all sections of the society,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the remarks when a six-member delegation of US-based Democracy International led by Glenn Cowan met her at her Jatiya Sangsad office in the morning.
After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
Democracy International, Inc, a US-based organisation operating in over 40 countries, advises and assists, on behalf of governments, ministries and NGOs in democracy and governance projects, such as in the conduct of elections, election monitoring and building of multiparty systems.
While talking about democratic process, Hasina mentioned that her party, Bangladesh Awami League, taking people with it, struggled for long 21 years to restore democracy. “The country witnessed military or quasi-military rules for 21 years after the assassination of Bangabandhu,” she said.
The Prime Minister said her party has been formulating policies on various issues through holding discussions, seminar and symposiums.
Hasina said her party has founded its research wing-Centre for Research and Information (CRI) — to conduct research on different issues.
She noted that the BNP-Jamaat government after coming to power in 2001 first made an attack on the CRI to halt its activities.
The Prime Minister said the trend of participation of women in Bangladesh’s politics has increased to a great extent due to various initiatives of the present government.
Twenty-one female members have been directly elected to the present parliament, she said, adding now the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House, the opposition leader, the deputy leader of the House and a whip are women. Hasina said 30 percent seats in local government bodies like Union, Upazila, Municipal and City Corporations have been kept aside for the women.
“Women sailors have recently been appointed to the Bangladesh Navy for the first time, while the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also recruited female members,” she said.
The Democracy International team highly appreciated Bangladesh’s progress in women empowerment under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership and praised CRI’s works.
Former foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni, AL publicity and publication secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud and PM’s principal secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad were, among others, present at the meeting.