Female leaders of different political parties at a workshop here on Tuesday called for raising the nomination to women candidates by political parties in the forthcoming generation election to 33 percent for their real empowerment.
At the workshop, they came up with the common voice that female leaders and workers in their respective political parties are not being treated equally with their male counterparts.Rather, they said, they always face discriminations when it comes to party leadership role due to conventional attitude of party leaders.“Still, women are being treated as women, not as persons, by all political parties,” Selima Hossain, a former minister and BNP vice chairman, told the workshop organised by Democracy International (DI) at a city hotel.
The workshop titled ‘Advancing Women’s Leadership in the General Election: Increasing Women Candidate and Campaign Managers’ was addressed, among others, by Jatiya Party Presidium member Masuda Rashid Chowdhury, Awami League education secretary Shamsunnahar Chapa, BNP leader Shirin Sultana and a good number of aspirant candidates of Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party.
Katie Croke, COP of DI, presided over the programme. USAID and UKAid were its co-organisers.At one stage of the function, tension escalated when Awami League leader Shamsunnahar said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was rightly imprisoned for her corruption.The BNP female leaders who were present there protested the remark loudly.
Speaking at the programme, BNP leader Selima Hossain alleged that their party Chairperson Khaleda Zia was imprisoned illegally only to make her a political victim.She also said women are the victims of discriminations in politics as well although the top leaders of all the parties inside and outside of parliament are women.
Awami League leader Shamsunnahar Chapa said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been trying hard for the development of the women folk in society.She said the SDGs are unlikely to be achieved if 33 percent of female candidates are not given nominations by political parties to contest the national election.
BNP leader Shirin Sultana said all the political parties still hold the same view that female candidates cannot compete with their male counterparts in generation elections.She said they show the excuse of keeping seats reserved seats in parliament when it comes to giving nominations to female candidates.
Shirin Sultana urged all to work together to raise the rate of nomination to female candidates by different parties to 33 percent. Mohila Awami League general secretary Mahmuda Begum said having 33 percent female candidates in parliamentary elections will not be ensured unless a law is put in place by the Election Commission.