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1)

Introduction

Women are a large part in Bangladeshs entire population. Women development is the key to overall development of the nation. It is essential to ensure the equal rights and equal opportunity of women in every sector to develop nationally. The first Women Development Policy was taken in 1997 to change the fate of the abused and neglected women from the society. From that day Women Development Policy is being updated in every 5 to 6 year. In 2004 the second version of the policy was taken. The third one was taken during the caretaker government in 2008 but unfortunately that was not successful. The very last women development policy was issued in 2011 to give women their equal right. 2)

Background

From ages women are exploited and abused by the society and by the system. They were not properly appraised for the effort they gave in household responsibilities. The pioneer of women activist Begum Rokeya suggest that giving the female childrens freedom after education will eventually lead them to earn their food and shelters. By the end of 19th century a massive uprising was noticed among the women for education. During the liberation war in 1971 many women contributed along with the men to earn the victory over the Pakistani soldiers. They helped the freedom fighters both directly and indirectly during the war. That makes them self-reliant and boost up their self-confidence.

3) Women & Development Plan


During 1973-78, an initiative was taken to rehabilitate the most vulnerable women from the liberation war. For the first time the importance of women development was realized to achieve Women education, health and family planning, and for the overall growth of the society. And for that reason many foreign help were taken and included in the budget. At 1972 the Women Rehabilitation Board was established to find out the accurate number of abused women and children and give training to those women who were abused. The activities of Women Rehabilitation Board was increased remarkably in 1974, as a result the government transform the board into Women Rehabilitation and Welfare Foundation. Some activities of that foundation were - to build the social structure for women development in every district, provide training facilities to employ them, provide medical support to those women who were physically hurt in the war, and provide some scholarships to the children of the women who lost everything in the war.

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In the Fifth Five Year Plan an initiative was taken to involve women in the line of development, charter on abolishing discrimination against women, biasing platform for action, and national plan for women development. Agro and rural development, industry, health and family planning, education, transport and communication were added into the plan. 4)

Current Scenario

The current government has taken many initiatives to ensure the growth of women development. Ministry of Women and Children Affaires took initiatives to ensure the elimination of poverty of women, prevention of violence against women, prevention of kidnapping of women, protection of women everywhere including workspace and fully and equally participation of women in socio-economic growth. In the era of globalization to involve women in the economic growth many activities are added in the National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction. In this strategy paper there are five strategy blocs to eliminate poverty. Equal participation and empowerment of every people in the development is emphasized among the five strategy bloc. In 1998 the payment of allowances to the widow and distress women has started. Today near about 9, 20,000 of women are included in that service. Every widowed mother gets 300taka every month and a special allowance for the period of pregnancy is 350taka. 5)

Women & The Law

To protect from abuse of women and female child various laws are modified and some new laws are enforced. Law of inhibition of dowry, prevention of child marriage, prevention of abuse of women & children are few of them. a) Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010 Family Violence (Prevention and protection) Act 2010 was passed establishing equal right of women and children as prescribed in the constitution of Bangladesh for ensuring protection of women and children from family violence as also a signatory state to the UN charter on Prevention of All Forms of Discrimination to Women, 1979 and the child Rights Charter 1989. b) Citizenship Act (amended), 2009 The provision for giving citizenship by mother to child was made by the national parliament by amending the citizenship act in 2009.

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c) Mobile Court Act, 2009 The executive magistrate was given power to take steps by linking Section 509 of the Bangladesh Penal Code in the schedule of mobile court act to resist and prevent eve teasing and sexual harassment of the girls and women. 6)

National Women Development Policy 2011

There is absolutely no doubt that, the way they are going on every sector which is really appreciable. If we see the history of our country, Language movement 1952, Mass uprising 1969, General election 1970, and specially, liberation war of Bangladesh 1971 women played vital role in every sector. We all know that, 2 lacks women raped by the Pakistani brutal force. After the independence women have entered the every sector gradually this is very appreciable. a) Objectives The Objectives of National Women Development Policy are as follows: To establish equal rights of men and women in areas of state and public life in the light of the constitution of Bangladesh. To ensure security and safety of women in all areas of state, social and family life; To ensure the socio-economic, political, administrative and legal empowerment; To establish human rights of women; To ensure full and equal participation of women in the mainstream socioeconomic development; To bring up women as educated and skilled human resources; To deliver the women from the curse of poverty; To remove existing male-female disparities; To give appropriate recognition to women's contribution in socio-economic areas; To eliminate all forms of abuse of women and female children; To eliminate discrimination to women and female children; To establish gender equality in politics, administration, other areas of activity, socio-economic activity, education, culture, sports and in all areas of family life; To innovate and import technology favoring the interest of women and prohibit anti-women technologies; To ensure taking appropriate steps to ensure sound health and nutrition of the women; To ensure priority of women in provision for proper shelter and housing;

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To arrange rehabilitation of the women affected in natural calamities and armed conflicts; To extend overall assistance to ensure rights of the disabled women and women belonging to the smaller ethnic groups; To arrange safety of the widow, aged, guardian less, husband abandoned, unmarried and childless women; To reflect gender perspective in the mass media including positive image of the women and female children; To assist in flowering of Talented, genius women of their creative potentials; To provide necessary support services for development of women. To provide overall assistance in ensuring the growth of women entrepreneurs.

b) Women's Human Rights and Fundamental Rights Womens human rights and fundamental rights are follows: To provide knowledge regarding womens human rights and its related laws, To publish the Charter on Abolishing Discrimination against Women and take necessary steps to implement, To ensure the equal rights of women modify present laws and create new laws, To prevent any discriminative laws or social nature.

c) Women in All national Economic Activities & Equal Rights To increase participation of women at the level of decision making in financial institutes; To ensure equal rights in economic policy making (Trade & Commerce Policy. Monetary Policy and Taxation Policy) and their implementation; To build social security net in favor of the women to ward off hostile reaction in the application of macro-economic policy; To give equal opportunity and partnership in resource utilization, employment, market and business; To remove degradation of women in the educational curriculum and books and to raise the image of women; To ensure gender equal rate of wages, increase participation of women in the labor market, equal opportunity at the workplace, ensured security and removal of disparities in employment;

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To give recognition to women for their contribution to institutional and noninstitutional sectors by institutionalizing participation of women; To take effective measures in all institutions including Statistical Bureau of Bangladesh to reflect contribution women in the national economy; To ensure correct reflection and evaluation of all women labor including their labor in farming and in the household in the national accounts of the government, national development and economic growth; To arrange for taking all other necessary and making special provision including transportation, housing accommodation, rest rooms and separate toilets and day care centers where women are employed in larger numbers

d) Economic Empowerment of Women The essential issues for economic empowerment of the women are, such as -- To give full and equal opportunity to women in health, education, training, lifelong education (continuing education), technical education, income generating training, information & technology etc. To give women the rights to wealth and resources earned through income, succession, loan/credit, land and market management.

e) Employment of Women Some vital issues for employment of women are as follows: To create female entrepreneurs specialize training and loan sanction must be conducted, To take every possible steps to employ both educated and uneducated women, To ensure the enough employment necessary laws must be updated.

f) Women and Technology The essential issues for women and technology are, such as-- To reflect the gender side in the invention, import and implementation of new technology,
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To take necessary steps if any technology found harmful for women

g) Food Security of Women The essential issues for food security of women are, such as-- To strengthen the distribution of government food among the distress women according to their need, To ensure the participation of women in the distribution, planning, caretaking in food security, To appreciate the hard labor, dedication and evaluation of women in securing the food.

h) Health and Nutrition The essential issues for health and nutrition of women are, such as-- To strengthen the primary healthcare for women, To reduce the overall rate of child death and rate of maternal deaths, To give them proper knowledge and training of nutrition.

i) Security & Safety Of Women In Pre, Post & During Disasters The important issues for security and safety of women are, such as-- To rehabilitate the women suffering from natural disasters, To take care not only food but also health of women after a disaster, To support pregnant women and new born babies specialize cells must be open.

j) Special Program for Disabled Women The essential issues for special program for disabled women are, such as-- To ensure rights to recognition and to live with honor and dignity;

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To have the disabled women unified with the mainstream society and ensuring their active participation in all the areas of life including education; To consider special type of education in only those areas where they could not be mainstreamed for reasons obvious. To undertake appropriate institutional program for education, treatment, training and rehabilitation of the disabled women. To undertake program to prevent disability and its determination and extending special co-operation to their families for taking care and growth of the disabled women. To make the framework, facilities and services accessible to all so that on women only because of disability are not deprived of any kind of rights, facilities and services endowed under the National Women Policy.

k) Implementation Mechanism Women development policy and its implementation is the responsibility of the government. By creating an organized and well-structured system this can be done efficiently. To achieve the goal following steps should be taken, National Level: Women equality, development and empowerment are the ultimate goal of the Ministry of Women and Children Affaires, Bureau of Women Affaires, and Bangladesh Children Academy. These institutions should be more organized to support the women. District and Upazilla Levels: The program of the district level administration, Zilla Parishad, Municipality, local government, office of the concerned ministry shall be co-ordinated and progress of women development program reviewed for advancement and empowerment of the women. District Women Affairs Officer. Upazilla Women Affairs Officer in co-ordination with other concerned officials shall discharge their responsibilities in implementation of all the programs undertaken for the development of women. Grassroots Level: At the grassroots levels i.e. in village and union the women shall be organized as self-sustained group. To strengthen these groups shall be transformed into a registered organization under different government organizations. Tapping resources from the GO and NGO sources, banks, other financial institutions, an intimate relationship of these organization with Union Parishad, Upazilla Parishad, Zilla Parishad, Municipality and City Corporation shall established and their activity co-ordinated. Over and above, the inclusion of local development perspectives of all the grassroots organizations shall be encouraged and assistance given

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7) Recommendations This policy will not have any impact unless all the people of Bangladesh show respect towards women. Most of the women in the country dont know their rights, and most of them dont have any idea about the National Women Development Policy. Large seminars and open discussions should be arranged to inform the rural women. International, regional and sub-regional co-operation should be encouraged through bilateral and multilateral financial and technical co-operation and exchanges of experience and technology aimed at development of women. 8)

Conclusion

The statement of Napoleon Bonaparte Give me a good mother; I will give you a good nation is the best example of womens contribution in the development of nation country. Except physical strength are not inferior to men in any respect. They constitute around half of the total population of a country. So, they should be provided equal opportunity in all the nations building activities. In Bangladesh womens participation in nation building activities are very poor. It is not because of their disinterest, but because of the restrictions imposed upon them. In our male dominated society women are not considered to be competent enough for performing activities other than house hold activities. As a member of the family, society or nation their position is far behind the males. International, regional and sub-regional co-operation should be encouraged through bilateral and multilateral financial and technical co-operation and exchanges of experience and technology aimed at development of women.

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References:
1. National Women Development Policy 2011 Bangladesh Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh; issue of 2011; approved at 8th March, 2011

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