Bangladesh works for UN’s planet 50-50

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DHAKA : Parliamentary Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury today said Bangladesh spearheaded a massive campaign for gender equality as promised under the United Nation’s “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” initiative.

“We have various progresses in gender parity as women are working with cooperative spirit and empathy,” she told the opening ceremony of the 25th Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians of the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly.

She said under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s stewardship, the government was working to implement the planet 50-50 launched several programmes for women along with community clinics at rural areas aimed at providing healthcare services at their doorsteps at grassroots.

Chowdhury said Bangladesh introduced several types of allowances for women including maternal allowance, widow allowance, divorcee allowance, old-aged allowance and special food programmes for vulnerable women.

Still, she said women were exposed to some challenges like wage discrimination, violence “but they are working with cooperative spirit and empathy so women could contribute in development activities”.

UN’s Planet 50:50 initiative seeks national governments to make commitments to address challenges that hold women back from reaching their full potentials while the session came ahead of the launching of the 136th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly later today.

Choudhury, also Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) executive chairperson and 136th IPU Assembly president, addressed as the chief guest the function at Celebrity Hall of the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

The session adopted the draft resolution on promoting enhanced international cooperation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly seeking financial inclusion of women as drivers of development as the discussion took place in two groups.

IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury said the century old forum was
working to establish gender equality globally as the “Parliaments all-over the world are doing better compared to governments and parliaments support government in this regard”.

He said the main slogan of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is
living no one behind so the women should be included in the development process while he also highlighted Bangladesh’s ongoing economic progress and its potentialities before the parliamentarians from across the globe.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong also spoke at the function and
highlighted the IPU’s activities in the session, chaired by Bangladesh’s Dr Dipu Moni MP.

More than 207 women MPs attended the 25th Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians of the 136th IPU Assembly. They focused on ending the gender gap in access to financial services.

Parliamentary representatives from several countries including Canada,
the United Kingdom and Kenya highlighted their respective gender scenario and submitted recommendations for narrowing down the inequality.

The session was followed by a debate titled “Women’s political
participation: A new impetus to break the glass ceiling” and a panel
discussion on “empowering girls today to achieve sustainable development tomorrow”.

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