Bangladesh is a middle-income country. One half of the population of Bangladesh are women. Hoever, most of the women are not empowered. The main causes behind it, is that women are facing lots of obstruction from their family and society and they also don’t get enough opportunities to be empowered. However, it is possible to strengthen the situation of women through resolving all obstacles and problems in their way… like Begum Rokeya Sakhawat did.
Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932) is widely acknowledged and accepted as a female iconic figure in Bangladesh, who undertook serious efforts to improve and strengthen the situation of women in society. She understood the causes of the despicable situation of women and “prescribed” women education as a remedy. Rokeya emphasized women education to emancipate them so that they could be free as humans. Rokeya played an important role in spreading women’s education and their empowerment. She tried to rectify unnatural practices of seclusion and men’s negative perception of education for women. Finally, Rokeya urged all women to undertake every effort to move forward and to foster their intellect via education.
She said “unless we, the women, receive higher education, society will not achieve progress. As long as we are not equal to our men in the spiritual world, the mere hope of progress is nothing but a mirage. We must cultivate all branches of knowledge.” She wrote in a number of genres, short stories, poems, essays and novels. Her writings called upon women to protest against injustices and break the social barriers that discriminated them. Respecting her contribution every year Bangladesh observes Rokeya day on 9th December, her birthday. And today, on her birthday I want to say, that we have to think about women equality like she did. For removing all barriers each woman needs to be educated and has to move forward.
It is important to provide capacity development training to women so that they can develop their knowledge, skills and can compete strongly with other, men and women alike. Life skills training is such a training, which helps to build female confidence, decision making capacity, self-respect and personality. Many families still exclude women from every kind of development and even locking them out from all recreational events by putting the excuse of religion. For empowering the women, we need the support from our families and from society. We need to co-operate with the women of Bangladesh to utilize their intelligence and potentialities so that they can lead a balanced life and contribute to the development of the society.
We have to acknowledge, that a woman is empowered when she is aware of herself. Nowadays many women in Bangladesh became successful due to their education, development, awareness and empowerment… Our honorable Prime Minister as well as the leader of the opposition party and the speaker of the National Parliament of our country are women. Many women are now in higher positions and also doing many risky jobs just like men.
Dear readers, rights are not given by others, they should be gained by ourselves. I think I am different from the other women in our society. Because I got some opportunities to develop myself at the YES Center Cox’s Bazar and I gained knowledge, information and capacity from the center. I believe each woman should try to gain her rights and go forward in her life. Women are very much sincere, honest and professional in their work- so let’s use our internal power! Let us do something for the young women of our society!