‘Change mindset for gender equality’

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The department of women and gender studies at DU organized a program to mark International Women’s Day-2020 at its campus

Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman has said that mindsets need to change for ensuring gender equality.

In the region of gender equality, Bangladesh in recent years has developed in two sectors – education and employment. However, the mindset has not progressed over time, said the VC, speaking as chief guest at an event in Dhaka yesterday.

The department of women and gender studies at DU organized a program to mark International Women’s Day-2020 at its campus.

Everything happening in society against women is preventable if one is willing to change one’s mindset. It is not possible to prevent forcibly or by law, he added.

Emeritus Prof Najma Chowdhury said it was true that the number of women in the professions had increased over the past two decades or so but their political voice remained feeble and weak in the political arena.

Prof Sadeka Halim, dean of the faculty of Social Science, presented various data relating to violence against women and girls in the country. She also discussed women’s rights in cases of property and problems related to the law in the country. 

She said after the Liberation War, Bangabandhu had honoured  women who were raped or tortured by the Pakistani forces and their associates with the title of Birangona but our society was not ready to accept them at the time. Society’s mindset remained as it had been in the past, she noted.

“Only removing financial barriers would not help the growth of women. We have to remain mindful whether there is social and political progress,” she said.

Dr Selim Jahan, former director of the Human Development Report and Poverty Division at the UNDP, said men displayed muscle power and created violence when they fell short intellectually, in logic and in having a grounded perception of reality.

The event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the publication of the book “Women and Politics Worldwide”, edited by Dr Barbara J Nelson and Dr Najma Chowdhury.

The program, in association with the UNDP, was chaired by women and gender studies department Chairperson and Associate Prof Sanzida Akhter.

Abdul Mannan, national project director of livelihoods improvement of urban poor communities project of Local Government Division (LGD), also spoke on the occasion.