In collaboration with ABC Radio, USAID Bangladesh organised a debate competition to celebrate the upcoming International Women's Day at The Daily Star Centre today. Every March, USAID celebrates their contributions to advancing gender equality and promoting women's empowerment around the world. The event was arranged to raise public awareness about the need to protect basic human rights, particularly women's rights, in Bangladesh.
Under the banner, Narir Odhikar Manobadhikar, the topic of this year's debate was : 'Families play a key role in ensuring girl power'. Two debates between four teams from Viqarunnisa Noon School & College, Holy Cross College, St Joseph College and Notre Dame College was arranged.
Starting from Begum Rokeya to today's Wasfia Nazreen, Bangladesh has seen different stages of women empowerment. Though the number of women working in challenging careers has increased significantly over the years, our society still fails to provide basic security to a girl child or a woman. While some of the debaters established a family's role to empower a girl, others emphasised more on society's duties and responsibilities. The spontaneous and lively debate focused on the importance of education within the family and the society.
Without ensuring quality education for people from all walks of life, the cruel and unfair mentality towards women can never be changed. Shameem Akhtar, Film maker and Women's Rights Activist and Morshed Hassib, Vice President of Bangladesh Debate Federation were present as judges of the competition. They selected Holy Cross College and Notre Dame College as winners of the competition.
Derrick S Brown, Mission Director, USAID e the participants, "To ensure equal rights you have a role to play and I request you all to take actions."
"Empowerment does not come from anyone else; no one can give it to you, you need to feel it from within," Joanne Wagner, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Dhaka, shared at the event.