Bangladesh has won the prestigious Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Award for ‘regional leadership in closing the gender gap in politics’. The award comes as a recognition for being among the top 10 nations in the world in reducing gender gaps in the recent World Economic Forum study.
Based on the rankings of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report’, WIP Awards were presented at the WIP Summit 2015 to those countries which were recognized for their political empowerment of women, and to countries which showed regional leadership in closing the gender gap in politics, said a foreign ministry press release.
In the regional category ‘South and Southeast Asia’, Bangladesh won the award for its outstanding success in closing the gender gap in the political sphere.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina was invited by the founder of the Switzerland-based WIP, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, to receive the award. On her behalf, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md. Shahriar Alam accepted the award at the Headquarters of African Union at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on Tuesday.
However, the PM has sent a video message to be played at the WIP Award Ceremony on the closing day of the WIP Summit on Wednesday.
While accepting the award on the eve of the 45th Independence Day, Alam dedicated this award to over 2,00,000 women who were subjected to the worst form of gender violence during the Liberation War and also to women in Bangladesh and South Asia who have chosen a life in politics to make a difference in their societies. He expressed his conviction that women’s growing political participation would make a shift in politics and women’s voice and representation will make politics more oriented to ‘service’ and ‘care’. He also stated that women’s contribution to policy making serves other weaker segments of the population. Mentioning women as the best advocates for promoting a ‘culture of peace’ in the minds of people, the state minister urged for women’s empowerment as a tool for the implementation of the post 2015 sustainable development goals.
He also reaffirmed Bangladesh’s unequivocal commitment to establishing gender equality and uproot violence against women from the society. Audience applauded when state minister informed the house that Bangladesh has a unique situation where the prime minister, the speaker, the leader of opposition and the deputy leader of the House are all women.
On the side line of the WIP Summit, the state minister met the Ethiopian state minister for trade and the director general of Ethiopian Investment Commission. During these meetings, he discussed the trade and investment potentials between Bangladesh and Ethiopia with those dignitaries. Both the state ministers agreed that Bangladesh and Ethiopia should conclude a Trade and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement to enhance bilateral trade and investment. The Ethiopian state minister also said that a high-level trade delegation would visit Bangladesh soon. Alam will also call on the state minister for foreign affairs of Ethiopia on Wednesday to discuss various bilateral issues.
Source: Prothom Alo