Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for mobilising a new global alliance to promote women's rights and empowerment.
“We have to forge a new alliance to support the women and uphold their rights. Together, we must act on our shared culture, tradition and values to benefit millions of women in need,” she said while receiving the Global Women's Leadership Award at a Gala Dinner of the Global Summit of Women 2018 in Australia.
Hasina received the prestigious award from Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad for her leadership in women's education and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.
Nearly 1,500 women leaders from across the world joined the summit at International Convention Centre in Sydney. They gave a standing ovation to the Bangladesh PM.
A video documentary on the political life of Hasina, Bangladesh's economic progress and different steps taken by her government for women empowerment was screened earlier.
She said, “I am highly glad and deeply honoured to receive the Global Women Leadership Award 2018.”
Hasina dedicated the award to the women who have shown their might in changing their lots across the world. She thanked the US-based Global Summit of Women for nominating her for the prestigious award and organising the event.
She urged all to work together to reach out to marginal and vulnerable women who were still less fed, not schooled, under-paid and violated.
Stressing the need for creating equal opportunities for women in all sectors, the PM said no woman and girl should be left behind.
Hasina recalled Bangladeshi women's sacrifices in liberating the country during the Liberation War. Women in Bangladesh, she said, played significant roles in every nationalist movement.
She pointed out the steps taken in post-independence Bangladesh to uphold women's dignity and rights. She said Bangabandhu had set up the Women Rehabilitation Centre for the war victims and later women were honoured as “Birangana” (war heroine).
The premier said Bangladesh's constitution appeared to be the bedrock for women empowerment as it gives equal rights to women and men.
“Bangabandhu had made girls' education up to class VIII free and preserved 10 percent quota for females in government jobs.”
She shared her experiences in realising people's rights, particularly women's empowerment, in Bangladesh. She said she and her sister were barred from returning home following Bangabandhu's assassination along with his 18 family members in 1975.
Hasina said Bangladesh has emerged as a “role model of women empowerment”. In this regard, she pointed out that the World Economic Forum last year ranked Bangladesh 47th among 144 countries and first in South Asia for women empowerment.
The Forum also ranked Bangladesh 7th among 155 countries for political empowerment of women, she added.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and PM's younger sister Sheikh Rehana, among others, were present on the occasion.
Dame Quentin Bryce, a former governor general of Australia, and Andrea Mason, the CEO of Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council of Australia, were also given the Australia's Women's Leadership Award at the programme.
VIETNAM SEEKS SUPPORT FOR UNSC SEAT
Vietnam yesterday sought Bangladesh's support to its candidature for membership to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 session.
Vietnam Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh sought the support when she called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her hotel suite in Sydney, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque told reporters after the meeting.
The Vietnamese VP congratulated Hasina for receiving the Global Women's Leadership Award-2018 and appreciated her role in women's emancipation and empowerment.