Women of Bangladesh are not only demonstrating their success in the corporate sector and education, they are also aviating the sky and navigating the high seas.
Negotiating thousands of nautical miles, they are anchoring Bangladesh ships with their red and green flags in the largest ports of the world.
The modern ships of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) are not only transporting goods, they are giving messages of glory of advancement of Bangladesh women and their empowerment.
BSC sources said there are 17 female officers and cadets in three of their big ships ‘MV Banglar Joyjatra’, ‘MV Banglar Orjon’ and ‘MT Banglar Ogrojatra’.
Six more female cadets and officers remained prepared for the ship ‘MT Banglar Ogrodut’ which is waiting to be added to the fleet.
Concerned said the officials working in the ships are getting handsome allowances on the monthly basis, while the cadets are getting those on the daily basis.
Apart from this, they are receiving air fare for going to China to board the ship as well as accommodation and food cost and two sets of free uniforms. According to the maritime law, everybody working in the oceangoing ships will have insurance and Protection and Indemnity (P&I) coverage.
BSC General Manager Captain Jamal Hossain Talukdar said the officials and cadets working in the ships are allowed to maintain contact with their families through social media, email and telephone during their stay in the ports.
For any emergency need, he said, they can also talk to their near and dear ones through satellite phones.
“The Bangalee women are now doing good in all fields and working with reputation in many risky jobs including the air and sea … it’s a symbol of our women empowerment,” he remarked.
Captain Jamal said three new ships of the BSC are now staying in different ports and seas of the world. “Our female officers and cadets working in the ships are discharging their duties with honesty, integrity and professionalism by winning all challenges,” he said.
Replying to a question, Captain Jamal said thanks to the initiatives of the present government, the brave women have got an opportunity to prove their ability by working in these ships.
Cadets Atia Syeda, Anjuman Ara, Syeda Sabrina Babur, Sohana Parveen and Shatabdi Hossain are in ‘Banglar Joyjatra’ and Third Officer Beauty Aktar, Fourth Engineer Lovely Das, Cadet Moutusy Talukdar Brishty, Ishrat Jahan Setu, Tasnimul Bahar and Sajia Afreen boarded the ship ‘Banglar Orjon’ from Shanghai of China.
They all are working with utmost efficiency.
Fourth Officer Farzana Akhtar Faiza, Fourth Engineer Khadiza Akhtar, Cadet Kaniz Fatema, Memi Afroza, Nasir Ahmed Nova and Farzana Yasmin are now staying in China being appointed to ‘Banglar Ogrojatra’.
‘MT Banglar Ogrodut’ is supposed to be added to BSC fleet by this month. The appointment of Cadets Sanjida Karim Mumu, Bilkis Akhtar, Ayesha Siddika Elinur, Sabina Yasmin, Sushmita Das and Rikta Aziz to the ship has been finalised as they proved their efficiency in the training.
Sanjida Karim Mumu, a cadet of the 49th batch of the Marine Academy, is one of them. Regarding this, she said,” We’re the cadets of 2014 meaning the 49th batch which is the second batch of the women.”
Mumu said: “Though we were given a scope for imparting practical training, we didn’t get a scope to work in the international arena. Our family members, guardians and relatives inspired us while the teachers provided courage … today our dream is going to be materialised.”
Another Cadet Rikta Aziz said: “I have come to this stage after working hard as a cadet. Now I’m waiting to prove my quality … though it’s challenging, we will surely triumph the sea.”
Talking about the issue, human rights lawyer Advocate Salma Ali said it is an important aspect that the women are coming out of the houses. “But equality is yet to be ensured. Bangladesh is getting awards for women empowerment in one hand, while the women are becoming victims of sexual harassment on the other hand,” she said.
Ali continued: “The reason is that we can’t come out of male-dominated outlook and as a result, the women are not getting fruits of empowerment.”
The woman leader, however, thinks the success of the women in land, sky and sea is very good news.