Female upazila vice-chairpersons formed a human chain in Dhaka on Sunday to press home their three-point charter of demands, and later submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister's Office and the land ministry.
The demands include 3% allocation from Local Government Division to the Women Development Forum (WDF) and introducing a separate column in upazila office documents for signature of female representatives.
WDF is an upazila-level platform for the elected women representatives of the unions and municipalities concerned under the upazila parishad. These platforms were established in 2013 comprising the respective upazila female vice-chairperson as president, female union parishad members or female municipality councillors and zila parishad elected women representatives.
Those platforms are to increase awareness and capacity of women public representatives and to protect their rights – which will contribute to their skill development.
WDF identifies and recommends development works in education, employment, culture and awareness building, and the Local Government Division (LGD) makes the allocations through the upazila authorities.
But the women representatives from Sunday's programme called for 3% LGD allocation direct to the WDF. Chief co-ordinator of WDF central committee Farhana Ferdous Nisha said a circular was issued in 2015 to implement 25% of the upazila parishad development works by the female representatives, to no avail.
She said WDF submitted a memorandum to respective upazila nirbahi officers on 1 September this year reminding the circular. Nisha claimed that there was no improvement in this regard even after the submission of the memo.
The central WDF command also demanded the government land for setting up their central office and vehicles to supervise the forum's progress at the grassroots.