“Equality Begins at Home”
International Women's Day is observed globally on March 08 to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. It is a day to call for gender parity. Each year this day is collectively celebrated under unique themes. This year the International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme is "#EachforEqual". The theme of United Nation's International Women's Day 2020 is "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights."
Though International Women's Day has been observed over a century, women are still expected to meet the stereotypical standards set for them. Women have been treated as inferior to men and exposed to violence which is a major hindrance to tap the enormous potential they have. While women are trying to explore the world defeating all the obstacles, they are double burdened by professional and household work. At the end it is women who are expected to "do it all". Women are primarily responsible for managing the household, even at the households where both spouses work. This "work-and-home" gender dynamics not only impact women but can affect men too. These can decide or prevent men from contributing in ways they want to.
In a society where gender inequality is inherent and power struggle is the accepted norm, perhaps the practice of gender equality should start in the domestic spheres. If we grow up in households where gender equality is a daily way of life, we do not need to be specifically trained about it. It will then simply become part of everyone's system. If young people are taught about gender equality and respecting other human from a very young age, they will be able to contribute in creating a safer world for women. If we can change our views and make a world that is gender equal and violence free, then we can be our best versions and contribute our very best to the society. Over the years, the world has witnessed a significant attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Today, women are breaking the barriers and challenging the stereotypes more than ever before. It is high time we prepare and sensitize our society accordingly, so that everyone can peacefully coexists and cohabitate in this society.
ActionAid Bangladesh observed the International Women's Day 2020 interactive event under the theme of "Equality Begins at Home" with the hope of living in a world that is a safe heaven for everyone. We are trying to analyze issues related to women's empowerment and our social perspectives about it through theatrical performance, mannequin show, short film screening, photo exhibition and interactive panel discussion involving stakeholders form different generations.
On the programme speakers said to empowered women also have to be created for adoption, so equality has to start from the family.
'Whether a woman is institutionalized educated or illiterate, whether in the house or outside, children or the elderly she has to be harassed, tortured or interrupted every day. So there is a need to change the outlook of the society and have to be start from the family. '
The speech was highlighted through a stage play, panel disassembly and a film exhibition at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium of the Rajdhani Public Library on Tuesday, March 8, in celebration of International Women's Day.
To celebrate of International Women's Day action aid organized the programme at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium of Public Library in the capital on March 3 with the theme of "Equality Begins at Home" and they highlighted the theme through a stage play, panel disassembly and a film exhibition.
At the programme they awarded eight women from the rural area 'Nasreen Memorial award'.
ActionAid participated in the panel discussion conducted by Farah Kabir, Country Director of Bangladesh, ActionAid.
Professor Salma Akhter, Department of Social Sciences, Dhaka University, Syed Shaikh Imtiaz , Department of Women and Gender Studies of Dhaka University, Ishani Chakraborty, Professor of History Department of Dhaka University, and Member of the Board of Action Aid Bangladesh, actor and artist Afzal Hossain, journalist and author Zahid Reza Noor, Nabanita Chowdhury, Director of the Violence Against Women Initiative 'Unit were present at the panel discussion.
At the beginning of the discussion, Farah Kabir said that women have to be harassed everywhere in the house or outside. Women are always in awe. These fears need to be overcome. Again, even when we are raising a man from a child, that is, we do not see how we are making him. But we are complaining.
Syed Shaykh Imtiaz said that while women are doing the same work as men, they are not getting support from society. The fact that we are not creating men to accept empowered women is not even considered.
Salma Akhtar said that the role model in front of a child should first be considered. A good man means that a human being should teach him that.
Ishani Chakraborty said if the family is a unit of micro level, then the state is the macro level. And the issue of gender sensitivity should also be brought in the policies of the state. Absolute Poverty is on the rise in our country. At the same time, discrimination against women is increasing.
Zahid Reza Noor said, "There is no cultural development, everything that is politically backward is responsible for this masculinity. The position of the well in the media is no less responsible.
On the occasion, Chowdhury said, we cannot guarantee the empowerment of the house. According to statistics, 4 percent of women in Bangladesh are victimized by their husbands. Bangladesh has had economic development but, I do not see if a girl can actually go up to the highest educational institutions, share in business and property. I do not think whether I am making men to create empowered women.