Women in Bangladesh have progressed beyond all expectations under the competent visionary guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Once only teaching and medical profession were considered appropriate for women. Now Bangladeshi women are breaking all barriers by entering the combat forces of Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, BGB and proving themselves capable of working successfully side by side with men. The first 97 female recruits of BGB passed with the 88th Batch on 5th June 2016. Now almost 300 female BGB members are serving in the border areas to keep our country safe.
Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) has opened doors to female athletes providing them the opportunity to build careers in sports. Many girls are now seeking sports as a way out of a wretched future of acute poverty, deprivation, childhood marriage, life of drudgery and an end to their education as suffered by millions in rural Bangladesh. Women athletes have earned name and fame for Bangladesh on the international arena within a very short time.Our society has replaced the traditional practice of rural women coming to the cities only to enter domestic work. Now our rural women come to the cities to work in garment industries, the main foreign exchange earning sector of Bangladesh. In that sense, these working women are the critical driving force which has uplifted the economy of the country to the lower middle income status from LDC level.
If progress of women in Bangladesh continues at this pace then in the future it can successfully counter all sorts of violence against women and fight religious fanaticism in the country. But for that we must ensure women’s empowerment not only in the society but also within the family units. Women friendly atmosphere must be created everywhere – at workplaces, at home, on the streets – to ensure that women can achieve their full potential. It may not be easy to stop violence against women in the family unless women are freed from the stigma of speaking against family members when they are abused within the sanctity of their homes.
This year commemorates the centenary of women’s suffrage. A hundred years ago women earned the right to vote after a long and arduous struggle. We hope that the rampant violence against women will end without another such battle between the sexes.