Bangladesh Women Policy: Cancellation of review body demanded

Staff Correspondent

A number of socio-cultural organisations,
political parties and non-government
organisations (NGO) have demanded cancellation of
the committee formed to review the Women
Development Policy 2008 and immediate
implementation of the policy.

Samajik Protirodh Committee at a protest meeting
yesterday urged the chief adviser to implement
the Women Development Policy after cancelling the
review committee, ban political activities in
religious institutions, and clarify the stance of
the government on the matter. Dr Hamida Hossain
presided over the meeting held at the Central
Shaheed Minar.

Karmojibi Nari has also demanded cancellation of
the review committee and implementation of the
policy.

It also urged the government to initiate trial of
war criminals after forming a special tribunal.

Organisation President Shirin Akhter and General
Secretary Sharmin Kabir in a joint statement
yesterday said, "The Women Development Policy is
a significant step by the current government for
establishing equal rights and respect for women.
But the fundamentalists and war criminals in the
country are opposing the policy terming it an
anti-Islam policy."

Workers’ Party of Bangladesh has condemned the
review committee’s recommendations for omitting
six sections and amending 15 others of the Women
Development Policy.

It also called upon the government to implement
the policy for establishing the rights of women.

"When the entire nation is vocal about trial of
war criminals, a certain quarter is trying to
create anarchy in the country in the name of
religion," the party politburo said in a
statement.

The Workers’ Party urged the government to take
actions against those responsible for instigating
violence near the Baitul Mukarram Mosque.

Samajtantrik Mohila Forum has condemned the move
for amending 15 sections and bringing changes in
the Women Development Policy.

Those who oppose the idea of establishing equal
rights for men and women are against the
democratic rights, it said in a statement.

Another NGO Steps Towards Development in a
statement signed by its Executive Director Ranjan
Karmakar said those who are opposing the Women
Development Policy are actually opposing the
constitution.

"The quarter that does not recognise the
country’s constitution is opposing the Women
Development Policy," it said adding that the
review committee must be cancelled.

Gender and Development Alliance, an NGO working
for promoting gender equality, human rights and
good governance, said any opposition to the Women
Development Policy is similar to taking stance
against the constitution.

Urging the government to implement the policy
immediately, Bangladesh Trade Union Centre in a
statement said a certain quarter has challenged
the constitution by opposing the policy. The
organisation leaders called upon the caretaker
government to take actions against them.

P.S.

* From The Daily Star, March 30, 2008. Circulated by South Asia Citizens Wire | April 18-19, 2008 | Dispatch No. 2505 - Year 10 running.