Hundreds of women, from all walks of society, attended the event
International Women’s Day is being observed with colorful events and programs in Bangladesh, as well as across the globe.
Marking the occasion, women held a candlelight vigil to pierce the shroud of darkness, at the Central Shaheed Minar, in the first hour of Friday. They also observed a minute of silence.
Hundreds of women from all walks of society, and students from five halls of Dhaka University, participated in the event, organized by Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jot (We Can Alliance to End Domestic Violence).
The theme of the vigil was, "Soman Bhabi, Soman Thaki, Soman Soman Samne Choli," which translates as, "Think equally, live equally, move forward equally."
Those attending the event also vowed to stand united against all forms of harassment and violence against women.
Addressing the program as the chief guest, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman said: “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, while giving the historic speech on March 7, 1971, began by saying, 'My brothers and sisters.'
“On that day, he shared his dream of building a nation with the support of both men and women. The historic speech was equally attended by freedom-loving men and women. The 1971 Liberation War and the rise of an independent Bangladesh could not have been possible without contributions from both men and women.”
Present at the event, human rights activist advocate Sultana Kamal said: “The women, whose names were used to name several Dhaka University halls, have worked for the liberation of women their whole life.
“It is because of those women, we are standing at this event. We use the Central Shaheed Minar as the venue, because it teaches us to live with our heads held high, with equal rights and with dignity.”
She pointed out that in his March 7 speech, Bangabandhu spoke of political, cultural, and social freedom.
A cultural program was also held at the event. Dhaka University Proctor Golam Rabbani, Prof Gitiyara Nasrin, Female Journalists' Association President, Nasimun Ara Haque Minu, and Coordinator of We Can coalition, Jinnat Ara Haque were present at the event, among others.