Bangladesh pushes global communities for gender equity

Bangladesh has urged the global communities to keep gender equity as a ‘stand-alone’ goal in the post-2015 development agenda.

Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali made the call on Monday at New York while attending a high-level meeting on women empowerment.

US Secretary of State John Kerry chaired the ‘High-level Meeting of Equal violance against womenFutures Partnership’ themed on “increasing women’s representation in leadership positions”.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that would witness debate on adopting the post-2015 development goals.

Bangladesh is one of the 12 founding members of the UN’s Equal Futures Partnership launched in September 2012 to ensure women’s political and economic participation in all spheres of life.

The foreign minister wished to join hands with all other partner countries for the inclusion of gender equality as “a stand-alone and a cross-cutting goal”, the foreign ministry said in Dhaka.

In his speech Ali said his government under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership remained committed “as ever to break all political and social barriers standing in the way of our women and girls”.

He informed that Bangladesh had gone up one notch to seventh position in women’s political empowerment in the Global Gender Gap Report 2013.

“Bangladesh is perhaps the only country in the world that has a woman prime minister, speaker of the parliament, leader of the opposition, and deputy leader of the house.”

He also said that since 2009 the number of women entrepreneurs had “quadrupled” in Bangladesh.

On Monday Ali also met his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop for a bilateral meeting in New York.

During the meeting he briefed Bishop the challenges of climate change Bangladesh was facing.

The foreign ministry said he particularly stressed on the need to adopt an internationally binding document to mitigate the climate risk.

Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries, despite the fact that its contribution in carbon emission is very negligible.

Australian Foreign Minister appreciated Bangladesh’s contribution to the Bali process of the climate change conference.

She also extolled Bangladesh’s contribution to the UN as one of the highest troops sending countries in the world.

Ali informed her that Bangladesh has also the highest level of representation of female police in the UN peacekeeping missions.

Bishop expressed her government’s special interest to the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) and hoped that this would promote sustainable development.

He invited Bangladesh to participate in the upcoming ministerial meeting of the IOR.