Civil society leaders think more women should run for office
Five women candidates are vying for nominations to contest the 11th general election in four constituencies of Kushtia district.
Of them, two aim to run on the ruling Awami League’s ticket, two for BNP, and one for Hasanul Haque Inu led-Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, which is a coalition member of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance.
Former Awami League MP Sultana Tarun has purchased a nomination paper to contest for Kushtia 4 constituency (Kumarkhali-Khoksa).
“I have devoted myself to the wellbeing of the people (and) have worked a lot for the development of my constituency during my tenure as an MP,” she said.
“I urge people to vote for the boat [Awami League’s electoral symbol] so that I can work more for them.”
Next door in Kushtia 3, Laila Arjuman Banu has also purchased a nomination form for the ruling party. In the same seat, Kazi Salma Sultana aspires to contest the election for Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal(Inu).
For the main opposition BNP, Farida Yasmin and Farida Moni have bought nomination forms to run for the Kushtia 2 (Mirpur-Bheramara) and Kushtia 4 constituencies, respectively.
Even though the number of female nomination-seekers has increased this election season, civil society leaders say more still needs to be done to level the gender playing field.
“Women should not only run for reserved seats in parliament,” Rafiqul Alam Tuku, president of Kushtia Sachetan Nagorik Committee - a platform of civil society leaders - said.
“Women have moved forward in many spheres of life and contesting in all kinds of elections will help boost their empowerment.”
Sammilito Samajik Andolan Kushtia chapter President Nazrul Islam echoed Rafiqul’s statement.
“If women are represented in the parliamentary election, their empowerment will further increase,” he said.