STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BANGLADESH TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 28: ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN, AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (NEW YORK, 05 OCTOBER 2017)
Thank you Madam Chair.
It gives me immense pleasure in addressing this meeting of the Third Committee. My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of G77 and China.
Our efforts towards advancement of women are guided by the vision of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had dreamed to transform Bangladesh into a prosperous country where women would participate side-by-side with men in nation building. Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in advancement of women including attaining gender-related MDGs. In recognition of her role for the advancement of Women, last year Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was awarded “Planet 50-50 Champion” by UN-Women and “Agent of Change Award” by Global Partnership Forum.
Our National Women Development Policy and National Plan of Action are premised on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the outcomes of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly.
According to Gender Gap Index, 2016, published by World Economic Forum, Bangladesh ranks 72nd among 144 countries, a position above all South Asian countries. Our Seventh Five-Year Plan and Perspective Plan prioritized gender equality and rights. Every year, a gender budget report is presented along with the National Budget. This year, 43 Ministries reported on their gender responsive programmes showing progress in women’s advancement.
Our Ready-made Garments sector employs 4 million women constituting 95% of all garment workers. The National Women Development Policy 2011 provides for women’s increased participation in the labour market, equal opportunity at workplace, wage equality and protection. Women workforce in our job market jumped from 7% in 2000 to approximately 40% now. We have been able to empower rural and marginalized women through social safety net, micro-credit and SMEs, easy bank loans and brought them into development mainstream thereby. Apart from enacting and enforcing appropriate laws, we are building social awareness in addressing violence against women and girls, forced labour and early marriage.
There are a large number of women as elected representatives at all levels. Our women are participating in UN peacekeeping. Bangladesh is perhaps the only country that has women as Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker and Deputy Leader of the House. These testify political empowerment of our womenfolk.
Bangladesh tabled the historic Security Council resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace and Security’ in 2000 as the then President of Security Council. Through this resolution, woman have been integrated with the UN’s work on international peace and security.
Women and girl are particularly vulnerable in any crisis situation, more so when they are undocumented. At present, Bangladesh is managing a humanitarian crisis of more than half a million undocumented Myanmar nationals, majority of whom are women and children. International community has to address the vulnerability of women and girls in such conflict situations and other adversities including effects of climate change.
As a member to CEDAW and Vice Chair to the CSW, we reaffirm the importance of member states to comply with their international obligations towards women. We commend the work initiated by the new Secretary-General in bringing gender parity in the professional and higher levels at the UN system. We commit ourselves to work with him, the UN and the international community at large in advancing the cause of women and achieving the gender-related SDGs.
I thank you all.