Connecting Girls, Inspiring Change: International Women’s Day in Bangladesh

March 14, 2014

image001_21.nodeThe British Council and National Girl Child Advocacy Forum, of which The Hunger Project is a part, hosted a discussion session called “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Change” on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka to celebrate International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is a day when women of all national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political association are recognized for their achievements. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

At the discussion, prolific Bangladeshi women from the arts, media, music, sports and business sharedinspiring storiesand proposed actions everyone can take to bring about positive change.Students from several universities were present to share their ambitions, challenges and achievements in their community work.

In addition to several inspiring women from the community, the event was honored to feature Acting Director of the British Council Brendan McSharryand Executive Director of Democracy WatchTaleya Rehman.

One speaker, an empowered woman named Geeti Ara Safia Chowdhury, Ex-advisor to Caretaker Government of Bangladesh told the audience that “our women have done a lot, they climbed on Everest, so don’t be pessimist, always try to be optimist; men and women need to walk side by side then success will definitely come.”

Prof. Latifa Akanda, Vice President, National Girl Child Advocacy Forum addressed the issue of girl children playing a mature role for their family, instead of enjoying their childhood. Ms. Rehana Parvin, Ex-National Player and Football Coach explained that, “Women have the potential to do anything. So be brave and strong.” Other speakers included Freedom Fighter Ferdousi Priyovashini and Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, President, National Girl Child Advocacy Forum.

The session gave audience members the opportunity to engage with community leaders and ended with words from The Hunger Project’s Masud Hossain and Nasima Akhter Joly. Nasima Akhter Joly, Secretary of the National Girl Child Advocacy Forum acknowledged thanked everyone and asserted: “we will work together, challenges will come, but we will overcome all.”

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