Women’s security: Bangladesh fully committed to WPS agenda

Bangladesh has its full commitment to the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda as a role model of women empowerment, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

“The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working tirelessly to realise the inherent potentials of women and girls for the overall development of Bangladesh,” he said on Sunday.

As Bangladesh remains in the cusp of graduation into a middle-income country, Dr Momen said they remain firmly committed to engaging women equally in all spheres of national life.

The Foreign Minister was virtually addressing the event celebrating 20 Years of UN Security Council Resolution “Women, Peace and Security: Championing women’s role, achievements and way forward” jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UN Women.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Kazi Rowshan Akhter, Principal Staff Officer of AFD, Lt Gen Waker-Uz-Zaman, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo also joined the event.

Dr Momen said the violence and trauma that women suffered during Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971 have a lasting footprint in Bangladesh’s national psychology.

“The painful experience demonstrated how women suffer during conflicts,” he said adding that it also taught how women can contribute to the recovery and reconstruction in the post-conflict situation.

Recognising the important role and contribution of women “war heroes” immediately after the independence Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman included women in rebuilding the country, he said adding, “From that perspective, we could establish a clear co-relation between women, peace and security.”

Dr Momen said adoption of 1325 opened a much-awaited door of opportunity for women who have shown time and again that they bring a qualitative improvement in structuring peace and in post-conflict architecture.

“Since then, women, peace and security agenda has become our national priority. With a visionary woman leader at the helm, our predominant focus has been to ensure the development and eventual empowerment of women,” he said.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh has pioneered in women’s peacekeeping and sent over 1,900 women in various peacekeeping missions, including difficult ones.

Currently, 139 women military and 183 women police officers are serving as the blue helmets.

Bangladesh has also been sending women corrections and judicial officers to the UN peace missions.

“These statistics aren’t just numbers. They signify our strong confidence in the ability of women and the viability of the policy vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Dr Momen said.

He said they consider women as agents of peace and their peacemaking role has been facilitated by progressive laws and regulations, and government’s affirmative actions towards their empowerment.