Women across the nation and the world have stepped up in key leadership roles
This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated under circumstances the world has not seen before, with the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.”
As nations across the world slowly recover from the devastation on life and livelihood caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no denying that, in many cases, the gap between the privileged and marginalized has further widened, exacerbating the inequality inherent within many societies.
This widening gap is evident in the drastically different extent to which women are being and will be affected in the era of Covid-19: For example, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), women are almost twice as likely to become unemployed during the Covid-19 crisis, and trends indicate that the pandemic will vastly increase the poverty rate amongst women more so than amongst men, further widening the gap between men and women who live in poverty.
In Bangladesh, gender inequality remains a burning issue, one which requires our immediate attention and action. Be it in cases of domestic and sexual violence or inherently sexist laws and systems which continuously marginalize women, there is no denying that widespread patriarchal notions in our country continue to prevent girls and young women from reaching their full potential.
But, despite the overwhelming obstacles women face today, women across the nation and the world have stepped up in key leadership roles -- such as the current government’s efficient and effective response to the pandemic under the leadership of our prime minister and the thousands of young women who took to the streets to demand justice for the victims of rape.
On this most unique of International Women’s Days, let us not only further increase our commitment to establishing equality between the sexes in order to create a more equitable future, but also take this as an opportunity to celebrate the uncountable female decision-makers who have tirelessly contributed to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.