MPs slam parliamentary panel’s recommendation
Lawmakers have slammed a parliamentary panel’s recommendation to bar female officials from giving the guard of honour to dead freedom fighters and sought the prime minister’s intervention.
Speaking at the Tuesday’s session, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JaSoD) MP Shirin Akhter said that she was “surprised, shocked and saddened” by the suggestions made by her colleagues in parliament.
The Constitution stipulates that there can be no discrimination between males and females, she said before adding: “We are stunned when this happens in this country.”
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in parliament when Shirin addressed the session.
“Our prime minister has earned a worldwide reputation as a successful leader. Our Speaker is a woman,” said the lawmaker of JaSod, an ally in the ruling Awami League-led coalition.
She sought prime minister’s intervention over the matter.
When freedom fighters die, they are honoured by the district or upazila administration on behalf of the state.
Government officials, like deputy commissioners (DCs) or upazila executive officers (UNOs), place wreath as per the state honour rules.
On Sunday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs recommended replacing female officials with male during the guard of honour for war veterans as several women are posted as DCs and UNOs.
The panel argued that since women are not allowed to attend Janaza [funeral prayers for Muslims], they cannot attend the guard of honours.
MP Shirin Akhter, however, told the parliament on Tuesday, the guard of honour “has nothing to do with” the funeral prayers and that they are not the same thing.
“And this recommendation came from the pro-liberation forces at a time when radicalism is rising across the country. I seek the intervention of the prime minister,” she added.
JaSod MP Hasanul Hoque Inu and Awami League MP Meher Afroz Chukmi also criticized the recommendation made by the parliamentary committee.