PM warns against child, woman torture

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the people, both males and females, to be aware so that no child and woman become a victim of torture. “Not only in our country, we’ve also seen in the developing nations that the repression on children and women has spread like a mental disease … so, males and females, everybody will have to be aware so that no child and woman are tortured,” she said, reports BSS.

She added: “Special attention should be given so that the children and women remain protected.” The prime minister was addressing a function as the chief guest on the occasion of the “Begum Rokeya Day” and distribution of Rokeya Padak-2019 at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Monday morning.

Sheikh Hasina said: “In fact the males inflict repression on the women. So they should think that they’ve also girl child and what will they do if their child is tortured by anybody. That’s why, awareness is very much necessary (in this regard).” The Begum Rokeya Day is being observed in the country today marking the 139th birth and 87th death anniversaries of the pioneer of women renaissance Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain.

The Women and Children Affairs Ministry arranged the function with State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Begum Fazilatun Nesa Indira in the chair. Secretary of the ministry Qamrun Nahar delivered the welcome address and also conducted the Rokeya Padak distribution ceremony.

On behalf of the Rokeya Padak recipients, Begum Selina Khalek spoke expressing her feelings about receiving the award. At the function, the prime minister handed over Rokeya Padak-2019 to five eminent women for their outstanding contributions to women and social development.

The recipients are – Begum Selina Khalek, Principal Shamsun Nahar, Dr Nurunnahar Faizunnessa (posthumous), Miss Papri Basu and Begum Akhtar Jahan. Pointing out that the government has enacted different laws and policies to check child and woman repression, the premier said only enacting laws is not enough, awareness is also a must to prevent such torture.

“We’ve formulated laws, but everything doesn’t happen by enacting laws,” she said, adding awareness is also essential to prevent torture on children and women. Sheikh Hasina said her government has framed the Domestic Violence Prevention Law, the Dowry Prevention Law, the Early Marriage Prevention Law and enacted the Women Development Policy and the National Children Policy for the welfare of the children and womenfolk.

“Awareness has been built up among the common people and girls about early marriage due to framing of the law,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said her government is doing everything necessary to materialise Begum Rokeya’s dream of establishing women rights. She said Begum Rokeya wanted a woman to become the head of any state and she to move keeping pace with males in the family and society and enjoy equal rights.

“We’ve at least ensured it and our womenfolk have started their journey towards the path of light overcoming the darkness,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is marching ahead in terms of women development by becoming a ‘sarathi’ (company) of dreams of Begum Rokeya.

“Bangladesh has set an example in the world in terms of women development like it has become a role model of economic advancement,” she said, adding: “We’ll have to keep up this progress.” About the rights of women, the prime minister said desired development of the country can not be possible leaving half of the population behind.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working relentlessly to further develop the country taking male and female together to materialise dreams of the harbinger of women renaissance Begum Rokeya. Referring to the success of the girls in education, the premier said the girls are doing good results in the examinations in comparison to the boys as they (girls) are attentive to their education.

“A self-confidence has been created among the girls and their parents encourage them in pursuing more study … due to this an ‘bibartan (evolution) and change has taken place in the society,” she said, adding it is a very good side for the country. Sheikh Hasina said the girls are also demonstrating their success in the games and sports. In this connection, she mentioned clinching gold medals of the Bangladesh women cricket team and female weightlifters in the ongoing South Asian Games in Nepal.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is advancing and it will continue to move. “We will build Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty-free country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation with the united efforts of all,” she said. In this regard, Sheikh Hasina listed various steps of Bangabandhu for the welfare of the womenfolk. “Bangabandhu had huge contributions to establishing the rights of the women and ensuring their place in every field of the society,” she said.

Following Bangabandhu’s footprint, she said, her government has taken various initiatives for the wellbeing of the womenfolk.

Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, women leaders, and high civil and military officials were present at the function. Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the modernisation work of Osmani Memorial Auditorium implemented by the Public Works Department under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works. Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim was present on the occasion.