On March 6, 2023, a sharing meeting was organized with the theme: “The Role of Youth Combating Violence against Women and Girls” at Lalmatia Housing Society School and College to celebrate International Women’s Day, with the students focusing on the title “Women’s Equality—Progress for All.”
The Legal Aid Subcommittee of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) initiated and Lalmatia Housing Society School and College organized this event.
Mohammad Akmal Hossain, the principal of Lalmatia Housing Society School and College, was the chair of this meeting. Legal Aid Secretary of BMP, Rekha Saha discussed the programs of BMP. Additionally, Senior District and Sessions Judge (Retired) S. M. Jahurul Islam, Human Rights Worker at the Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Jharna Khanam, and Senior Lecturer of the Social Welfare Department of Lalmatia Housing Society School and College, Bikarun Nahar, were present to provide their remarks on the issue.
Delowara Khatun, a senior lecturer in English at Lalmatia Housing Society School and College, facilitated the meeting. In addition to the leaders and staff of the Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, the meeting was attended by 53 students, 13 teachers, high-ranking representatives from other organizations and institutions, and a total of 75 people.
The Director of Legal Advocacy and Lobbying, the Legal Aid Subcommittee of BMP, Adv. Dipti Sikdar, emphasized the importance of following the Honorable High Court’s directive on the prevention of sexual harassment and exploitation, as well as the role of youth in ending sexual harassment and exploitation, preventing violence, and promoting awareness.
Rekha Saha, the Legal Aid Secretary of the BMP, stated that every individual has equal rights and dignity by birth. Every person has the same rights and deserves to be treated with dignity simply because they are human. Individuals have the legal right to possess certain things. Human rights are the fundamental rights that belong to everyone, regardless of their race, religion, language, or gender, because everyone has a right to respect and equal treatment.
Speakers at the event also brought up the fact that women and girls do not have equal rights in terms of property and assets. Women and girls face gender discrimination due to the process of socialization. Overcoming gender discrimination and taking a significant role in shaping a gender-sensitive family and society is important, and the youth should take the step to do so. She further mentioned that today’s youth are the torchbearers of the future generation. The high court has given directives to combat violence against women and steps to take to ensure their implementation. She urged everyone to accept and discuss the directives provided by the high court division on violence against women and girls within families, workplaces, and educational institutions and requested the youth to raise awareness among themselves by joining women’s movements and working towards women’s rights.
Md. Akmal Hossain, the chair of this meeting, said that this society is still male-dominated and that inequality between men and women still exists. He emphasized that all should work for the development of the nation based on equality, ensuring equal rights and equal dignity for women and girls. Ensuring the safety of women and girls is essential, along with a life of independence and employment.
Md. Akmal Hossain ended his speech by requesting the BMP to organize such events in the future.
Overall, this meeting, organized by BMP with the collaboration of Lalmatia Housing Society School and College, provided the speakers with a platform to encourage the youth to know their rights and get involved in the movement to ensure women’s rights.