RAJSHAHI, Nov 15 (BSS): Speakers at a daylong workshop on the role of lawmakers in gender empowerment stressed that the gender discrimination should be removed for strengthening the democratic system.
They also underlined the need for taking necessary steps to ensure women's participation in nation-building activities.
Strengthening Parliamen-tary Democracy (SPD) project arranged the first regional workshop on "Gender Empowerment: The Role of MPs" at Pink Cassia conference hall of Zafar Imam Tennis Complex under the joint sponsorship of UNDP and Parliament of Bangladesh.
Mayor of Rajshahi Mizanur Rahman Minu, MP, addressed the inaugural session as the chief guest.
With Rowshan Ershad, MP in the chair, the opening ceremony was also addressed by Jahan Panna, MP, project implementation specialist of SPD Project Prof ATM Obaidullah and UNDP programme manager Majeda Haque.
Noor Afroze Begum Zyoti, MP, Ferdous Jahan, assistant professor of Public Administration Department of Dhaka University, and Farah Diba Chowdhury, associate professor of Political Science Department of Rajshahi University, presented three keynote papers on the topic in the business session, chaired by Sarwari Rahman, MP.
Syeda Razia Faiz, MP, UNDP programme manager Majeda Haque and executive director of Association of Community Development (ACD) Salima Sarwar were the designated speakers on the keynote papers.
The main objective of the workshop was to evolve strategies to achieve greater gender balance within and outside parliament and to promote collaboration with different civil society organisations concerned.
The speakers said desired development of the country is impossible without spontaneous participation of women in the nation-building activities. So the gender issue is being considered as an international and national agenda in the current development activities.
However, they said, the government of Bangladesh has been implementing various uplift programmes aimed at making the womenfolk self-reliant through creating employment scopes for them.
Referring to various discriminations, they underscored the need for ensuring equal wages for women for the elimination of gender discrimination along with protecting them from all sorts of repression and torture.
Importance should also be given on ensuring equality in health, nutrition, education and employment for them for overall development of the nation, they said.
Some 130 delegates from different professions, including politicians, legal practitioners, NGO activists, teachers, students and journalists attended the workshop.