Bangladesh must continue to invest in and provide opportunities to women and girls
It is extremely encouraging to see Bangladesh rank 50th out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report, where it was the top-ranked South Asian country, with the only such country in the top 50.
In recent times, Bangladesh has made significant strides in multiple facets, and this latest achievement is further proof that Bangladesh is indeed moving in the right direction in its development trajectory.
However, while Bangladesh’s position is encouraging, there is much to be done -- for us as a nation as well as for the whole world in general -- before we can truly claim to be a gender-equal planet.
According to the same report, it will take nearly a century to achieve parity, and in today’s vastly inclusive globalized world, this is a shameful reality.
The Nordic nations -- in particular Iceland which was ranked as the most gender-equal country for the 11th consecutive year -- have consistently been the torchbearers for achieving gender parity, and can serve as a model in this regard.
Bangladesh, despite having a female head of state for the past three decades, has only 8% of women in the cabinet and only 20% in the Bangladeshi parliament, and we need these numbers to rise for there to be an adequate representation of women in government.
Therefore, despite the success our economy is experiencing, Bangladesh must continue to invest in and provide opportunities to women and girls, because for there to be progress, there must be equality.