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Bangladesh works for UN’s planet 50-50: Speaker

DHAKA, April 1, 2017 (BSS) - Parliamentary Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin

Chaudhury today said Bangladesh spearheaded a massive campaign for

gender equality as promised under the United Nation's "Planet 50-50 by

2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality" initiative. "We have various

progresses in gender parity as women are working with cooperative spirit and empathy," she told the opening ceremony of the 25th Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians of the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly.

She said under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's stewardship, the

government was working to implement the planet 50-50 launched several

programmes for women along with community clinics at rural areas aimed

at providing healthcare services at their doorsteps at grassroots.

Chowdhury said Bangladesh introduced several types of allowances for

women including maternal allowance, widow allowance, divorcee

allowance, old-aged allowance and special food programmes for

vulnerable women.

Still, she said women were exposed to some challenges like wage

discrimination, violence "but they are working with cooperative spirit and empathy so women could contribute in development activities".

UN's Planet 50:50 initiative seeks national governments to make

commitments to address challenges that hold women back from reaching

their full potentials while the session came ahead of the launching of the 136th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly later today.

Choudhury, also Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's (CPA)

executive chairperson and 136th IPU Assembly president, addressed as

the chief guest the function at Celebrity Hall of the Bangabandhu

International Conference Centre (BICC).

The session was discussed the draft resolution on promoting enhanced

international cooperation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

particularly seeking financial inclusion of women as drivers of

development as the discussion took place in two groups.

IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury said the century old forum was

working to establish gender equality globally as the "Parliaments all-over the world are doing better compared to governments and parliaments support government in this regard".

He said the main slogan of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is

living no one behind so the women should be included in the development process while he also highlighted Bangladesh's ongoing economic progress and its potentialities before the parliamentarians from across the globe.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong also spoke at the function and

highlighted the IPU's activities in the session, chaired by Bangladesh's Dr Dipu Moni MP.

More than 207 women MPs attended the 25th Session of the Forum of

Women Parliamentarians of the 136th IPU Assembly. They focused on

ending the gender gap in access to financial services.

Parliamentary representatives from several countries including Canada,

the United Kingdom and Kenya highlighted their respective gender

scenario and submitted recommendations for narrowing down the

inequality.

The session was followed by a debate titled "Women's political

participation: A new impetus to break the glass ceiling" and a panel

discussion on "empowering girls today to achieve sustainable development tomorrow".

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)