Diplomats for women’s adequate access to education

08 Mar 2017, 21:40

Online Desk

Dhaka: Women leaders and diplomats at a discussion here on Wednesday stressed the need for ensuring adequate access to education and financial activities for women to empower them.

They said Bangladesh has already achieved a marked progress in many socioeconomic indexes, but the country’s marginalised women still lag behind for lack of adequate access to education and economic activities. 

The Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh arranged the discussion, titled ‘Women empowerment in Bangladesh: European and Bangladesh Perspective’, at a city hotel marking the International Women’s Day.

Former Ambassador Nasim Ferdaus said freedom of choice is the key to women empowerment in Bangladesh. “…the main question about women empowerment is their freedom of choice because their freedom is being affected in Bangladesh,” he said.

France Ambassador in Dhaka Sophie Aubert urged women to play their role from the front to change the existing mindset of people about women to bring a social change.

She also stressed the need for ensuring safe access to contraceptive for Bangladeshi women.

Charge d’ Affaires of Spanish Embassy in Dhaka Alejandra Lopez-Garcia said education an important pillar for women empowerment in Bangladesh.

Executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Shaheen Anam said the newly passed 'Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017, which has a provision allowing underage girls and boys to get married, will emerge an obstacle to women empowerment.

She said the Child Marriage Restraint Law will obviously be abused since about 67 percent women are subjected to domestic violence in the country.

Moderated by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon, the meeting was addressed, among others, by president of Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (BFWE) Rokeya Afzal Rahman, deputy head of mission of Netherland Embassy in Dhaka Martine van Hoogstraten, head of DFID Bangladesh Jane Edmondson and independent director of IPDC Bangladesh Nasreen Sattar.