Gender equality and children’s rights need to be given a much higher priority
Congratulations to the 23 Bangladeshi change-makers who have been selected for the prestigious Acumen Fellowship Program, an intensive year-long leadership development program for those involved in tackling the difficult questions of poverty and social justice in the country.
The recipients of the fellowship come from a wide variety of fields, which include tech, worker rights, primary education, career development, disaster relief, sanitation, mental health, disability, indigenous rights, gender, and climate change.
All of these are areas in which Bangladesh needs work. Indeed, as we move into 2020, we hope to see widespread changes that not only impact the economy and the money in people’s pockets, but also in terms of developing society, and the retrograde attitudes that sometimes hold us back.
Gender equality and children’s rights need to be given a much higher priority in the national conversation, because year after year we are witnessing dismal statistics relating to rape and child abuse.
This is where the work of those such as the Acumen fellows can potentially make a difference: The unfortunate fact is that governmental policy and the existence of laws have not been enough to create the necessary changes. All too often, bureaucracies and law enforcement personnel suffer from traditional mind-sets that ignore or perpetuate the problems rather than help break out of them.
To move forward in a meaningful way, we need change-makers who are able to think outside the box, and engage with our existing policies in a way that keeps the good and discards the bad.
The government’s role here should be to encourage and support the work of these intiative-takers, because they may well come up with the solutions for society we need.