Tremendous injustices continue to plague Bangladeshi women everywhere
When it comes to gender equality, Bangladesh has come a long way, securing the first spot among South Asian nations for two consecutive years, and a global rank of 47 at the Gender Gap Index of 2017.
This has not come without immense effort from the people and political will -- the current government’s Vision 2021 has prioritized women as a force that can continue to take the country into the future, not only achieving gender parity in education but also realizing the true potential of involving women in the journey towards economic progress.
But the fight towards true gender equality is far from over.
Backward notions on sex and gender roles continue to plague our society and governmental policies, essentially creating an environment that hinders not only women from achieving their full potential, but also Bangladesh from reaching the heights of prosperity.
For example, in this day and age, laws which allow girls under the age of 18 to marry under “special cases” should not exist. The millions of Bangladeshis who find work overseas and support their families back home should not be returning with traumatic memories which render them scarred for life. Two-thirds of Bangladeshi women should not be victims of domestic violence, and rape should not continue to be a crime that so often goes unpunished.
Tremendous injustices continue to plague Bangladeshi women everywhere, from RMG workers to working professionals.
This has to change.
It is only through raising awareness and concerted efforts from policy-makers and civil society that true, meaningful change can be achieved.
On this International Women’s Day, let us as a nation decide that, when it comes to gender equality, there can be no compromise.