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Hate war criminals forever, says PM

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

Recipients of Begum Rokeya Padak 2013 pose for a photograph with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the award ceremony in Dhaka on Monday. — New Age photoRecipients of Begum Rokeya Padak 2013 pose for a photograph with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the award ceremony in Dhaka on Monday. — New Age photo

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday urged the country’s womenfolk to hate the war criminals for all time and forge unity against the evil force trying to dislodge women’s progress and emancipation.
‘We have to always nourish our hatred against the war criminals responsible for rape, torture and violence on women, and their supporters,’ she said while distributing Roquia Padak-2013.
Addressing a function at Osmani Memorial Hall in Dhaka on the occasion, the prime minister paid her rich tributes to Begum Roquia, a pioneer of women renascence in the subcontinent.
‘Begum Roquia has accomplished tremendous tasks to liberate women from the bondage of social malaises. Today, we would not have got the opportunities in the society, had Begum Roquia not been born,’ she said.
Pointing out the women’s role in the country’s independence and development, the prime minister said, ‘we could earn many of our national achievements due to immense sacrifice of the women’.
‘We are now liberated. But, we should remember that our sisters and mothers suffered by the occupation forces and their local collaborators during the war of independence,’ she said.
‘So, we have to always hate the war criminals and their supporters who gave sisters and mothers up to the hands of the occupation force, committed genocide and destroyed our villages in 1971,’ she said.
Two distinguish ladies - Jharna Dhara Chowdhury and Professor Hamida Banu were conferred the Roquia Padak-2013 for their outstanding contribution to the cause of women in the society.
Award recipient Hamida Banu, secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Tariqul Islam spoke, among others, on the occasion while chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of children and women affairs Fazilatunnesa Indira was in the chair.
The prime minister sought support of all particularly the womenfolk to complete the process of the trial of the war criminals initiated by her government.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina said despite born and brought up in a conservative society of nineteenth century, Begum Roquia was the pioneer of women education and freedom of women.
‘We become surprised with many writings of Begum Roquia and her degree of understandings for education and development of women,’ she said adding, ‘How deep her thought was who considered for position of ladies at the top of the administration, judiciary and leadership.’
Pointing out her government’s initiatives development of women, the prime minister said many of the thoughts Begum Roquia are gaining ground now through establishing their rights at all level of the society.
Sheikh Hasina said Begum Roquia boldly faced all obstacles of a conservative society and felt that only education could ensure self-respect, self-freedom and empowerment of women.
Begum Roquia had realised that the desired goal of development could not be possible unless women are involved in all activities in the family, society and the state, she said.
The prime minister called upon the private organisations and individuals to come forward to supplement the government efforts for the development of country’s womenfolk and ensure their equal rights and opportunities.
She said in order to materialise the thoughts and spirit of Begum Roquia, massive steps have been taken to enhance skill and employment opportunities for the women, groom up them as entrepreneurs, ensure their massive participation in the labour market as well as increase their economic power.
National Women Development Policy-2011 and the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act-2010 were enacted for their empowerment, establish their rights as well as prevent social crimes against women, she said.
The prime minister said female education has been made free up to higher secondary level. High enrolment of girl students at primary schools is a unique achievement of the government, she added.
She said Ministry of Women and Children Affairs is running the Begum Roquia Agriculture Training Centre in Mymensingh and Begum Roquia Workers Female Hostel in Dhaka as a mark to show respect to the great lady.

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