The UN has honoured three Bangladeshi women who defied tradition, challenged gender stereotypes and social barriers put in front of them because they are women, reports UNB.
They became a successful community activist, an entrepreneur and an employee in a non-traditional sector, empowering many others on the way.At an event hosted by the ILO, UN Women and UNFPA on Thursday, Pushpa Khatun (19), Parvin Akhter (33) and Nasima Akhter (37) receivedthe recognitionaward from the Country Heads of the respective UN agencies.
The fearless journeys of Pushpa, Parveen and Nasima to transform their lives and that of others resonate with this year’s International Women’s Day theme - ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’.
As a member of the UNFPA-supported Nari Nirjaton Protirodh Committee and community activist in Bogura, Pushpa Khatun has stopped 13 child marriages, including her own, and provided support to eight victims of domestic violence.
She said, “I saw my friends who fall victim to child marriage and saw how it ruined their dreams and aspirations while affecting their physical and mental wellbeing.I didn’t want to be one of them and neither do I want it to happen to others. So here I’m today, doing what I believe in the most - no girl deserves to be a victim of child marriage and no woman should face gender-based violence.”
Parvin Akthar was forced into early marriage when she was in school.
But with training and seed funding from the UN, she was able to attract financing from a private bank against her business plan. She now runs a small textile factory which employs poor women and caters to Dhaka and UK based clients.