The government have awarded another 26 war heroines, better known as Birangonas, to live with the status of Freedom Fighters and be entitled to all the associated facilities and benefits.
Among them, the highest 7 are from Sherpur district; two from Jessore, three each from Satkhira, Dhaka and Sylhet; and one each from Narail, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Barguna, Barishal, Comilla, Gopalganj and Gaibandha.
The liberation war affairs ministry on March 14 issued a gazette publishing their names.
The gazetted Birangonas will enjoy all government benefits that regular freedom fighters do with effect from July last year.
With the second list, the number of Birangonas recognised as freedom fighters reached 67.
In the first batch, the government recognised 41 Birangona with the status of freedom fighters, according to a gazette notification of September 16 last year.
These women, all of whom were raped during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 either by Pakistani soldiers or their local collaborators, have been demanding this state recognition for decades.
According to the ministry, around 200,000 women and girls were abused during the Liberation War, but independent sources put the number at 400,000. Estimates of the War Crimes Fact Finding Committee shows that around 468,000 women and girls were abused in 1971.
A freedom fighter gets honorarium, ration and medical services. They, their children and grandchildren enjoy reserved quotas in public recruitment and enrollment in educational institutions.