The observance is not a run of the mill affair, indeed cannot be, for there are the very critical issues that have in recent years arisen about the position and status of women across the globe. Given the particular context in which women pursue life here in Bangladesh, it can be said with a fair degree of assurance that if women have taken forward strides they have also come across impediments that need to be done away with. In other words, women’s progress here has been remarkable; but at the same time there are some glaring gaps that need to be filled. Take, for instance, the fact that as many as 59 per cent of Bangladesh’s women are employed in various ways in the agricultural sector. But that is no suggestion that their contributions are recognised for what they are. That is when the matter of discrimination comes in.
There are the international conventions, such as CEDAW, that Bangladesh is signatory to. Those conventions were targeted at empowering women in a way that would not only ensure their independence but also turn them into a major force for social change. Today, we cannot but emphasise the fact that all the provisions relating to women’s rights and hence their participation in socio-economic activities must be upheld and defended if and when they come under assault from quarters uncomfortable with change. Consider the advances women in Bangladesh have made in such areas as government service. Today more than ever before, an encouraging number of women are part of the civil service in various ministries of the government. Quite a few of them have by now risen to senior positions and demonstrated their efficiency in no uncertain terms. In areas like the diplomatic service, women have been serving as ambassadors. In business, women have been staking out the parameters within which they mean to assert themselves. In sectors such as garments, it has fundamentally been women workers who have helped the industry keep itself afloat.
And yet there is a long way to go. Women yet die for such medieval reasons as the inability of their families to come up with dowry for them. More girls than boys even now drop out of school in the rural regions. Sexual harassment is still a problem for women in the workforce and outside it. Domestic violence, as the crime figures show, is yet a sad truth. These realities remind us today that the road ahead remains long and hard, that proactive steps are needed to guarantee our women not only freedom but also security, in every aspect of the meaning.
Popularity: 2% [?]