Bangladesh has, once again, topped all other South Asian nations when it comes to the matter of gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.
In the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Bangladesh ranked at 47, up 25 places from last year’s rank of 72.
This is an excellent indication of our nation’s slow and steady march towards progress in the area of gender equality.
Bangladesh already has a large number of women working in top positions in the government and in various leadership positions, and this number increases every day.
Women in rural and poverty-stricken areas have, thanks to technological advances, been integrated into the mainstream economy at a considerable rate.
Our RMG industry -- the primary engine of our country’s economic growth -- would not have been possible without female participation in the labour force.
Increased enrolment in schools for girls, as well as strong NGO involvement in women’s education, has played a significant role in our improved ranking.
While it is true that Bangladesh is faring better than other South Asian nations in terms of gender equality, the truth is there is still a long way to go if when compared to the developed nations of the world.
Our goal in coming years should be to close the gender gap completely, not just through the right policies, but also by changing attitudes that foster sexism within society.
This means combatting retrograde mind-sets that still force women and girls into early marriage, or cause them to drop out of school.