MNA Feature Desk: State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira on Wednesday said that media and people from all corners need to work together to turn the existing culture into women friendly.
“Prevention of violence and other forms of discriminations against women is possible if media launch massive awareness and people work together,” she said as chief guest at a roundtable in the capital.
The Daily Observer organised the roundtable titled “ Role of Government and Media in Empowering women-SDG5” at Jatiya Press Club.
In his welcome speech, the Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that only the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can ensure women’s right and empowerment .
“The implementation of SDGs can uplift women’s dignity and their rights and to ensure that people from every corner needs to work together,” he added
Appreciating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s various steps for women’s empowerment, he said that she is the pioneer and champion of Women’s empowerment.
Mentioning the vision 2021 and 2041 declared by the Prime Minister, he said that to achieve this vision the government at first must ensure that no woman lags behind.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury also noted that achieving SDGs within short time is not possible rather, it is a continuous process and people’s participation from every strata is very necessary.
Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir, Director of The Daily Observer, said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had wanted to build a non-communal country.
“If we can implement the Sustainable Development Goals then his dream will come into reality,” he added.
Selima Ahmed MP, president, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( BWCCI) said that the member of law enforcement agencies’ denial regarding filing of complaints against criminals by women leads to discrimination.
Farida Yasmin, General Secretary of Jatiya Press Club said that women must go forward with the help of men as still we live in a patriarchal society.
Sharmin Islam, Women’s Economic Empowerment Specialist and Gender Adviser, UNDP Bangladesh, in the key note paper, said that achieving gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public domains.
She also noted that the existing discriminatory laws are needed to be changed to ensure gender equality.
Talking about the present status of women globally, she said that about 49 countries still lack laws protecting women from domestic violence while 39 bar equal inheritance rights for daughters and sons.
She also said that, based on data from 87 countries, 1 in 5 women and girls under the age of 50, somehow experienced physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months.
Referring to the women’s unpaid care work and domestic chores, she said that women do 2.6 times more works than a man.
“It leads women to lower earnings and less time to engage in non-work activities,” she added.
She suggested removing all the discrimination and gender gaps, at first the government needs to set up its priorities which will be helpful for achieving SDGs.
Government’s various development projects and other innovative works should focus on the local people to ensure inclusiveness and for achieving SDGs, she suggested.
However, she also said that gender sensitive content needs to be highlighted in the media to change the typical perception about women.
Farzana Nahid, Director, North South University Center for Innovation, Vice President of Mohila Samity Dr Marufi Khan, Nasimun Ara Huq, President of Nari Sangbadik Kendra, Nilufer Ahmed Karim, President of Women’s Entrepreneurs Association also spoke at the programme. Farhana Naznin, moderated the event.