Without the active participation of women in leadership, it is impossible to achieve sustainable development and good governance, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said in a statement marking International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021.
Similarly, ensuring gender equality is unachievable if women, who represent half the population of Bangladesh, are left behind, the statement said. Referring to recent surveys, TIB also stated that just as women are victims of corruption, women are also being used as a medium and facilitator of corruption.
Therefore, TIB believes that women's empowerment and good governance must be ensured to effectively prevent corruption, thus accomplishing sustainable development. Placing an eight-point demand in the statement, TIB called for ensuring a conducive environment for women’s empowerment, gender equality, and leadership in all areas.
Referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the statement, TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said that women in Bangladesh contributed to tackling the pandemic alongside men. “But even at such times, violence against women or oppression of women has not stopped. A recent study found that 30.54 per cent of women were physically abused, 22.99 per cent were sexually harassed, 76.53 per cent had their daily lives controlled, 35.4 per cent were financially abused during the pandemic, and 43.75 per cent have been victims of both physical and sexual abuse,” said the Executive Director.
He also said Sustainable Development Goal-5 emphasises equal rights and empowerment for women and girls. Objective-17 calls for the prevention of corruption, good governance, justice and the establishment of the rule of law. Therefore, sustainable development is impossible without the active participation of women at all levels, including leadership and equal rights and empowerment of women, concluded Dr. Zaman.
This year, TIB celebrated the day through various programmes locally and nationally under the theme "Sustainable Development and Good Governance: Women in Leadership and Equality".
In addition, various programmes, including online discussion meetings, quiz competitions and content writing competitions, were held nationally and locally with the participation of youth volunteers- Youth Engagement and Support (YES) members across the country.
Virtual workshop for female UNOs marking the day
Earlier, on 3-4 March 2021, TIB, with the collaboration of the Cabinet Division, organised a two-day workshop at the national level for female Upazila Nirbahi Officers of 24 Upazilas of the country.
The objective of the virtual training workshop, the 4th such event since 2018, was to strengthen the capacity of the government officials to play an effective role in ensuring good governance through implementing the gender-related targets in SDGs.
Sheikh Manjur-E-Alam, Director- Outreach and Communication (O&C) of TIB, conducted the opening session.
Human rights activist Advocate U. M. Habibun Nessa made a detailed presentation on ‘Empowerment of women and the current perspective’.
During a presentation, TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman emphasised development for all while ensuring justice, functional institutions in a democracy, free access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms, and design and implementation of anti-corruption anti-bribery measures.