Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for a conducive environment to be ensured for women's empowerment, gender equality and women's leadership in all areas – to ensure sustainable development and good governance.
The organisation called for this on International Women's Day, Monday, read a press release.
This year, TIB is celebrating the day with various programmes at the local and national levels under the theme "Sustainable Development and Good Governance: Women in Leadership and Equality."
Meanwhile, a two-day training workshop on the same theme was organised at the national level in collaboration with the Cabinet Division, with the participation of women upazila nirbahi officers of 24 upazilas of the country.
In the press release, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, "About half of the total population of Bangladesh is women. As sustainable development is impossible without the active participation of women, it is also impossible to ensure gender equality and good governance without the effective participation of women in leadership."
"Gender inequality and corruption are interrelated. Gender inequality hinders good governance, sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Various studies have also shown that women's empowerment is hampered due to corruption," he continued.
"In countries where gender equality and women's empowerment have been achieved, they achieved it through establishing good governance by preventing corruption. Even in the context of Bangladesh, the lack of good governance and corruption are hampering the achievement of women's empowerment to the desired level," he added.
"Women are more at risk than men due to corruption. According to the National Food Survey 2017 conducted by TIB, 31.8% women have been victims of corruption as service recipients. Another study found that the lack of good governance and corruption have multiple effects on women," he said.
"Women are not only becoming victims of corruption, but they are also being used as a medium and facilitator of corruption. In such a reality, women's empowerment and good governance must be ensured for effective prevention of corruption," he added.
In order to achieve sustainable development by ensuring good governance and empowerment of women, TIB has raised an eight-point demand on the occasion of International Women's Day 2021.
The organisation demanded that appropriate and specific steps be taken to ensure women's participation and leadership in earning, education, healthcare, justice, and decision-making processes during the Covid-19 crisis.
TIB also demanded that: opportunities be created for women on a priority basis; integrity be mainstreamed in all spheres of governance in order to control corruption– which is the main obstacle to establishing gender equality; corruption be reduced as a precondition for ending violence and oppression against women; the National Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children 2013-2025 be implemented; and political parties directly increase the nomination of women candidates to ensure women's participation in the decision-making process.
TIB also demanded that the representation of women be ensured in every parliamentary standing committee and effective steps be taken to create awareness among women about family and personal liability for income.