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‘43pc female UNOs face obstacles to performing duties’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 5 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Some 43.5 percent female Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) faced obstacles in performing their duties while taking steps against corruption.

They faced the obstacles from influential people, local politicians, law enforcing agencies, upazila chairmen and district administrations.

Transparency Inter-national Bangladesh (TIB) disclosed the information in a study report on Thursday.

The report titled "Role of Women Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) in Establishing Good Governance at the Local Level: Challenges and Way Forward" was unveiled at a virtual press conference on Thursday.                                     

While conducting drive against corruptions, 45.5 female UNOs were put under pressure with false allegations, while around 48.5 percent of the obstacles came from influential people and local politicians, TIB report says.

The study was conducted from June 2020 to March this year. 45 UNOs participated in the research while there were 149 female UNOs in 485 upazilas during the study period.        

The study found that 21.7 percent of female UNOs faced challenges while performing their duties.

Most of the challenges came from upazila chairmen, local journalists, local MPs, law enforcing agencies, politicians, DC, ADC and the local populace.   Around 34.30 percent of female UNOs faced pressure to do irregularities for distributing the relief goods, 31.4 percent to justify the rationality of various expenditures and 28.6 percent to approve fake bills.                   

However, 89.1 percent of female UNOs took steps to prevent corruption. The research also finds that 40.5 percent of female UNOs did not get cooperation from upazila chairmen.

However, they also faced different types of unethical pressure and sexual harassment (5.7 percent) from upazila chairmen.    

"Around one-third of the UNOs are women which is an example of women empowerment. But the challenges they face are tarnishing this achievement," TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.

The situation indicates that society and administration are still discriminatory to women, he said.

TIB also put forward a list of recommendations to develop the work environment of women UNOs.