A discussion meeting was held on the 13th September, 2022 at 11.30 a.m. at Parliament Members’ Club regarding “The Contribution of Women Member of Parliament in National Development Process of Bangladesh.” Dr. Fauzia Moslem, President of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), presided over the meeting. In this discussion meeting, Honorable Speaker, Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury M.P. was present as chief guest. Meher Afroz Chumki . M.P, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Women and Child Affairs was also present as a special guest. Among the honorable members of Parliament, Zakia Parvin Khanam . M.P; Netrokona;. Syeda Rubina Akter M.P; 28, Adv. Zakia Tabassum M.P; 332; Mahila Seat-32 Dinajpur; Lutfunnesa Khan M.P; Shamsunnahar M.P; Raushan Jahan Shathi M.P, and so on spoke in the event.
At the beginning of the meeting, Adv. Masuda Rehana Begum, Combined General Secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) gave her condolence speech remembering late and one of the organizers of the Liberation War, special politics personality, Parliament Deputy Leader Syeda Sazeda Chaudhury.
In this written speech, it was said that in this 52 years of independence, the effective presence of more women was seen in decision making at the sector of peace mission, police force, division of law, diplomatic mission and all sector including administration by the various types of positive steps of the Government. In case of political empowerment, though the position of Bangladesh is in top but while it is a matter of combining women in the whole development of the country, they have to face a lot of challenges. These challenges are- increasing of violence towards women, violence on the election time, political violence and publicity against women. However, some proposals were presented for the sustainability of the development by standing against these challenges and involving women in national development process.
Honorable Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury M.P said that the time frame of 1996-2001 was the golden era of the actualization of rights of women movement in Bangladesh. However, the Government is working for the rights actualization of women of whole Bangladesh. There are also many achievements. According to the constitution of 1972, a prudence decision was taken by the leadership of the father of nation which was- women from all class got chance to take part in the political empowerment. They do not need to face any hurdle in direct election. Therefore, they need to prepare themselves. We have to think and work on the hurdles behind this issue. Moreover, she said that until there is no 33% representation and 50:50 participation of women in politics, till then reserved seats should be kept for women. Not only in Bangladesh but also women are lagging behind in political empowerment all over the world. The Government is working for ensuring gender equality and preventing violence against women. Democracy is important to make a country full of equality for the next generation by removing hurdles from women’s life. We need such democracy which will be helpful for the advancement of women. At that time, she mentioned about ensuring democratic process for women’s political empowerment along with emphasizing institutional infrastructure.
In the meeting, Meher Afroz Chumki M.P., Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Women and Child Affairs said that at present time, women are more advanced than before and more independent. Women have to be skilled to do work, mentioning about work skill of honorable speaker, she said that if we select skilled eligible women in proper place and give them work opportunities then they will prove themselves. We must increase women participation in Parliament. At present, responsibilities have been given t women in five standing committee. Beside this, she also said that women are not given their rights according to every religion and conventional family law, at first this has to be ensured. She also gave importance on the necessity of actualization of CEDAW Certificate.
Dr. Fauzia Moslem said as a President that political empowerment is important in case of establishment of equality, women movement has a relation with this. Women society has hopes to women representatives. In a male built society, each woman has to work with a helpful mind. Woman representatives have to work to prevent violence towards all women. She also said that institutional initiative is needed to solve the problems of women. She questioned that why the matter of religious law being raised in case of women rights? She summoned discussion on the actualization of all conventional law for the establishment of equal rights of men-women, inheritance law of women, uniform family law based on the constitution and for that all organizations have to work unitedly including the Government.
Addressing Honorable Speakers, Honorable Parliament members who were present in the meeting said that the Present government has made a way so that women can apply their talent and merit in a proper way. You have to go ahead by taking all with you, not by forsaking anyone behind. If women are lagging behind, there will be no assurance of whole development of the state. Therefore, the Government have taken various steps for bringing women in the mainstream of development. Moreover, initiatives have been taken to bring those women in the mainstream who are widow, divorced by husband, arrangements have been taken to spread education and allowance to prevent maternal death. On the other hand, Woman Parliament members have implemented activities in their own areas. They also said that you will not want equality rather you have to earn it; organizations for women movement, representative of the Government and Civil society have to work unitedly to ensure 33% representation of women in politics; Parliament members have to work hard to bring ahead grassroots women; women vice chairman of the local Government should be given the opportunity to work and they should be given proper assessment; disparity in allotment should be eliminated; at the beginning of the work, orientation should be given to Parliament members after being elected; efforts should be made to increase the direct participation of women in election; the perpetrators must be punished to prevent violence towards women. Unity should be ensured to prevent radical forces; awareness should be made in women through yard meeting.
The solidarity of the head of the Government with Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) has always been there and it will also remain in future.
In the meeting, members of the Parliament, leaders of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), reporters of Print and electronic media and officers of the organization were present.
The event of discussion meeting was conducted by Shima Moslem, Combined General Secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) .