PM’s Special Envoy HM Ershad says women leaders are only ‘showpieces’

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“We repeatedly say that our prime minister is a woman, speaker is a woman, deputy leader of the house, opposition leader are all women. But they are showpieces. It is not the same outside,” he claimed on Monday while participating in the budget session.

The former military strongman was immediately shouted down by vocal protests from women MPs. The speaker tried to calm the situation.

Amidst the din, a visibly perturbed Ershad kept repeating, “Women are helpless outside, but women are helpless outside.”

He tried to continue, “Do you remember, we go to the Shaheed Minar to lay floral tributes during Feb 21. No one goes there. Women do not go there, because they are frightened.”

The pandemonium continued and at one point, the former president admitted his mistake, “Ok, if I had said that, I am withdrawing it.”

However, he continued to try establishing his point, “Do you remember what happened during Pahela Baishakh, I did not forget what happened, how it happened, but was it tried?”

Several women were abused during the Bengali New Year celebrations in Dhaka University on April 14, 2015.

Police initially tried to downplay the incident but when pressure mounted they said they were looking through CCTV footages to identify the miscreants. They marked eight abusers but failed to identify them. A Tk 100,000 bounty was declared for each of them.

Until now, no arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

After Ershad ended his speech, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury expunged parts of his speech in which he spoke ‘derogatorily about women MPs.

Ershad’s wife and Leader of the Opposition Raushon Ershad apologised on his behalf.

“I am asking forgiveness, I apologise sincerely, maybe his choice of words were not appropriate. I am sincerely sorry for that.

Source: Bd news24

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