Claiming Bangladesh women's spectacular leadership in its current parliament, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Begum Rokeya would have been very happy to see that Bangladesh has been able to partially fulfill her dreamland 'Naristhan' (place for only women).
"She had always dreamt of a land where there'll be only women, but this is true that one society cannot be run this way?I can tell we're partially been able to fulfill her dream in Bangladesh and Begum Rokeya would have been so happy to see this," she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a function of Begum Rokeya Padak-2014 distribution at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital, marking the Begum Rokeya Day.
Women and Children Affairs Ministry organised the programme, with State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Ministry Meher Afroz Chumki in the chair.
Hasina said if one looks at the Bangladesh Parliament now, he or she will see that the Speaker of it, the Leader of the House, the Opposition Leader and the Deputy Leader of the House are all women. "Such a combination is hardly found elsewhere in the world?I don't know whether this will happen again?Bangladesh is a unique example?had Begum Rokeya been alive today she would have been very happy," she said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over the Begum Rokeya medals to two erudite women -- Prof Mamtaj Begum and Golap Banu --for their outstanding contributions towards spreading female education, ensuring human rights and immense work for the socio-economic development.
Sheikh Hasina hoped that not a single girl of the country will remain uneducated as her government created huge opportunities for their education and make them as dignified and self-dependent human resources as dreamt by Begum Rokeya.
Begum Rokeya had realised that achieving the desired goal of development would not be possible unless women are involved in all activities in the family, society and the state, she said.
Referring to Sakhawat Memorial Girls' School, Hasina said Begum Rokeya established it to free the neglected womenfolk from the curse of illiteracy and undertook various steps in spreading female education despite social obstacles at that time.
She mentioned that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took the first effective step for women empowerment in Bangladesh keeping 15 seats reserved for them at the first Jatiya Sangsad that has already been elevated to 50 by her government.
Following the teachings and ideals of Begum Rokeya, Hasina said, her government has been working for the welfare and development of the women, as no nation could march ahead leaving half the population of it behind.
"That's why massive steps have been taken to enhance the skill women, increase job opportunities for them, establish them as entrepreneurs, and ensure their participation in the labour market as well as their financial power and prevent social crimes against women," she said.
About her government's steps towards creating 30 percent reserve seats in local government bodies, Hasina said, the country and its people are now getting benefits of that.
The recipients of Bagum Rokeya Padak also spoke on the occasion and expressed their feelings.
Later, the Prime Minister sitting with the audience enjoyed a cultural programme, 'Jago Nari Jagao Pran', presented by the artistes of Bangladesh Shilpokala Academy. ?UNB