Thursday, 2 February, 2023
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President, PM issue messages on Rokeya Day

Begum Rokeya Day will be celebrated tomorrow to commemorate the contribution of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of Bengali women's education and a social reformer for ensuring equal rights for women and men.

In observance of the day, ministry of women and children affairs has taken programmes, including awarding 'Begum Rokeys Padak' to five women for their outstanding contribution to empowering women in the country.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today issued separate messages paying respect to the memory of Begum Rokeya for his contribution to spread education for women. Both the President and Prime Minister congratulated the five women on receiving "Begum Rokeya Padak 2022".

In his message, President Abdul Hamid said Begum Rokeya had made a significant contribution to illuminating the deprived and neglected women with the light of education.

 "She was not only a pioneer in women's education, but also a dedicated social worker with many talents," he said.

 The President said Begum Rokeya was able to realise with foresight that education and equal rights between men and women were very important in improving the fate of women.

 Abdul Hamid said the present government is taking and implementing various programmes and policies for the women who are making a wonderful contribution to every field of development in the way Begum Rokeya had shown.

"Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now a role model in empowering women. Women are now playing important role in politics, foreign policy, law profession, administration, armed forces, economy, journalism, art-culture and sports," he added.

Noting that it is quite impossible to ensure sustainable development without equal participation of men and women, he said, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working sincerely for women empowerment by involving them in the country's overall development activities.

The President urged all to come forward to establish a non-discriminatory society by implementing Begum Rokeya's dream.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said she is happy to know that Begum Rokeya Day-2022 will be celebrated to commemorate the contribution of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of Bengali women's education, a social reformer and a litterateur.

Paying homage to the social reformer, the premier said Begum Rokeya was a far-sighted modern woman as she realized the importance of women's education alongside men for the overall development of society and the state.

"This realization and ideal of her still inspires us," she added.

Sheikh Hasina said Begum Rokeya raised voice about the need for women education and building an equality-based society between men and women through her essays, stories and novels.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a pioneer in spreading women's education in Bangladesh and in the formation of a state based on equality for men and women, she said, adding that Bangabandhu believed that in order to take the country forward and establish a golden Bangladesh, it was not possible without ensuring equal rights for women.
Therefore, realizing the immense importance of equal rights, dignity and freedom of women, Bangabandhu laid a firm foundation for the empowerment of women in the constitution.

Bangabandhu made provision of reserved seats for women in the National Assembly, the premier said, adding that in 1972, he reserved the 10 percent quota for women in employment and in his first five-year plan adopted in 1973, he adopted education, health, family planning and welfare-based programmes for women.

The premier said Awami League (AL) believes in equal rights for men and women and following the footprint of Bangabandhu, the government led by AL is taking many pragmatic programmes in favor of women.

 "Our government has ensured participation of women in all spheres of national life," she said, adding that Bangladesh ranked 7th in the world in political empowerment of women. Women represent 70 percent of health workers and over 80 percent of garment workers, she said.

She said Bangladesh got various international awards, including the 'Agent of Change' and 'Planet 50-50 Champion' for her government's outstanding contributions to women empowerment.