Equal participation of women must be ensured in socio-economical, political and cultural activities to achieve the expected development of the country, said Abdul Hamid, Speaker of the parliament, yesterday.
Terming violence against women a social disease, he said necessary steps must be taken to make every woman aware of her rights and provide them with sufficient legal and economical security to end violence against women.
Hamid was addressing the inaugural session of 16-day long activism and token oath for eliminating violence against women, jointly organised at the South Plaza of the parliament by the government, the parliament and the UN agencies in Bangladesh. The activism started yesterday will go on across the country until December 11.
Deputy Leader of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury stressed the need for ensuring women's access to information in order to stop gender-based violence.
UN Resident Coordinator Neal Walker said it is impossible to turn Bangladesh into a country of people with middle-income unless violence against women is eliminated.
The Speaker also administrated an oath taking ceremony where around one and a half dozen lawmakers, UN officials and development partners vowed not to commit violence against women and to protest the offence.
UNFPA Country Representative Arthur Erken and Spanish Ambassador Luis Tejada Chacon, among others, also spoke at the function.
Besides, different organisations, including Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Brac, We Can Alliance to End Domestic Violence (an alliance of 550 NGOs), Steps Towards Development, and Dhaka Development Forum, will hold series of programmes for the campaign.
At a press conference in Jatiya Press Club yesterday, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad leaders claimed that a total of 4,854 incidents of violence against women had occurred in Bangladesh from January to October this year, said a press release.