• SSC exams begin
  • Hotel blaze kills 15 pilgrims in Saudi holy city
  • 20 held in Benapole while crossing border illegally
  • US government to expand recognition of gay marriage
  • Delwar, wife land in jail
  • Youth dies in police custody
  • Tamim resigns as vice captain of national team
  • Three killed in Sylhet road crash
  • War crimes accused Yusuf dies
  • Indian Kashmir under curfew amid separatist strike
  • Hasina boarding an Indian train: Rizvi
  • Tribunal for formality before handing over Yusuf’s body
  • BSF detains another Bangladeshi in Thakurgaon
  • Roadside bomb kills 8 Afghan soldiers
  • Armed forces must remain vigilant to face threat, uphold democratic trend: PM
  • Pay compensation to Santhia Hindu families: HC
  • Derailment halts Ctg-Dhaka, Ctg-Sylhet train services
HOME  EDITORIAL
  
Print Friendly and PDF

So much for empowering grass-roots women



The completion of the full five-year tenure of the third upazila councils devoid of the stipulated women members yet again betrays that the Awami League-led government’s oft-repeated promise to empower women in general and grass-roots women in particular is still high on rhetoric and low on substance. According to a New Age report on Saturday, although the third upazila council polls were held on January 22, 2009, the Election Commission is yet to hold elections to the more than 1500 member positions reserved for women there. It may be pertinent to note that the existing upazila council law stipulates that every council should consist of, among others, some women members who would be elected by women members in the reserved seats of the union councils and whose number would be a third of the total number of union councils and municipalities under its jurisdiction. Moreover, with about 490 upazila councils serving out their tenures in different time between February and August, the commission is holding elections to the positions of the chairman and vice-chairman only. Additionally, in line with the local government ministry, there are 4,498 union councils and 315 municipalities.
It is true that the rules required for the elections to seats reserved for women in upazilas have been cleared by the government in March 2013 after a prolonged process and the commission could not hold the polls within the stipulated five-year tenure. The government also failed to delimit the areas of the jurisdiction of members in question during the period. But one cannot deny either that the commission appeared eager more to hold other elections than the one in point in this period. Reportedly, while the then election commissioners in 2010 said that they would hold polls to the seats reserved for women in upazila councils soon after the union council and municipal elections scheduled to be held then, in 2011, they started to say that they would not hold the polls due to ‘legal complexities.’ Besides, they even failed to frame the upazila election rules to be vetted by the law ministry till then. Overall, neither the government nor the Election Commission was serious enough about the election of women members to upazila councils although it, as Bangladesh Woman Lawyers’ Association executive director pointed out, was a ‘gross violation of woman rights.’ Either way, It is expected that the commission, as one of its commissioner said that it would hold the polls at hand shortly after the completion of the forthcoming upazila council polls, will live up to its promise this time.




Reader’s Comment

comments powered by Disqus
   

So much for empowering grass-roots women

The completion of the full five-year tenure of the third upazila councils... Full story

Legal framework is needed to ensure doctor’s accountability

There is no denying that doctors having the responsibility to treat... Full story

Managing human resources

A related constraint lies in the fact that a constitutional amendment may be required to effect an organisational status change of such a scale. In many countries, such an amendment or even a regulation change — given the composition and interest-specificity of parliament — such a move may not be... Full story

Noam Chomsky: mesmerised by the Bolivarian spectacle

SPEAKING at the United Nations in 2006, Hugo Chavez excoriated ex-US president George W Bush as ‘the devil’. Chavez waved a copy of Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, catapulting... Full story
  • Online Poll


    Do you think that the government has successfully brought back normalcy in public life after the January 5 elections?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No comment
    Ajax Loader