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Women empowerment and digital Bangladesh:

Our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote- the Good done by the civilization, half created by
man and rests by the women. This is an eternal statement about the development of human
civilization. From the dawn of the civilization women and men worked together to make the
future brighter.
In a certain point of the social development process a few socially determined factors created
a cultural hemisphere, which pushed the civilization not to think women as equal to the men.
This cultural phenomenon changed the thought process of society and the society started
discrimination between women and men and ultimately women become a deprived part of
society.
Modern social science looked into the social disorder and termed it as gender discrimination.
This discrimination is sharply visible in our social and state level activities and attitude.
To address this issue there are many initiatives taken by the state, society, UN system,
PVDOs and NGOs over the world. Now women development is a common issue of all UN
member nations.
In view of eliminating gender discrimination, Bangladesh also has many initiatives in rural
and urban areas both. Considering all those social phenomena, present government included
Women development in priorities and it was also one of the election commitments that given
to the people by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
It was told that Digital Bangladesh is a dream of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that
expressed the willingness to use IT in the field of management, administration and
governance to ensure transparency, accountability and answerability at all levels of society
and state.

By depriving half of the population, that is the women of the nation, the dream of a Digital
Bangladesh will remain only a dream. To transform the dream in to reality women
development is the most essential part of national development planning; especially it is the
pat of National human resource planning.
It is a cruel reality; women are deprived in family and society, in decision making process, in
administrative process of governance and most importantly in economic activities. Even the
women contribute in the process of social development, which has also financial value, are
being ignored by the society.
To ensure the participation of women in the said process they need to be empowered
mentally, economically and politically. That is why modern social science termed women
development as the Empowerment of Women. Empowerment of women is linked to the total
human emancipation.
As government activities are concern, the Ministry of women and children affairs is the key
organ to look after the development and interest of the women flock of the country. This
government organ is working through the department of women affairs and Jatio Mohila
Parishad directly for the betterment of women.
As Bangladesh is a part of Beijing platform for action, several ministries including women
affairs, education, agriculture, environment and forest, fisheries, health and family welfare,
home, industry, labor, law, local government, rural development, social welfare and Planning
are working in an integrated manner for empowering the women.
As political empowerment is concern, it has started form the year 1996 when Sheik Hasina
was leading the government as prime minister. At that period, directly elected representatives
from women was included in local government level.
Presently this process gets extra momentum as one vice-chairman at Upazilla level already
been included and deputy mayor at municipality level is going to be included.

Moreover substantial number of women was nominated in last parliamentary election from
Awami league led coalition, which obtained mandate form the people. One thing must be
mentioned that number of women parliamentarian is the record in 9th parliament that
indicates the political development among women.
Social empowerment of women is deep rooted in the mind set of a society, which contents in
women and men both. Some time both of the section of society contents similar idea on an
issue that could be against women empowerment.
To overcome social barriers, it needs a movement, which already been started in our society.
Once conservatives are now not that much of against to the women role, which is enriching
the society and state.
In true sense social empowerment of women depends on the progressiveness of state, society
and individuals. Present government is secular in nature, stronger to create progressive social
mobilization and that is the ray of hope to build a society with openness, where women will
be socially empowered.
Economical empowerment of women remains with the involvement of women in economic
activities. This initiative is also already been started in the frame of our state and society. As
an election commitment, this government is also more attentive to the women participation in
economic activities.
Employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship are the main segments of economic
activities. To encourage women for performing in economy, it is not only the responsibility
of government alone. Public-Private partnership, GO-NGO partnership and Private initiative
are the needs to make the women economically empowered.
For a digital Bangladesh, all activities related to the women empowerment are also connected
to the philosophy of digital Bangladesh Approach. So women need to be digitally
empowered.
As the ground is being prepared to empowering women in social, political and economical
level, it could be hoped that our mothers and sisters will be emancipated soon.