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Mutual respect between men and women is essential to ensure gender equality

Despite their significant contribution to the family through household works, women are not given proper value. The main goal of International Women's Day is to establish equal participation and equal rights of women in all sectors, prevention of violence against women, valuing women's household works and so on. The theme for this year's International Women's Day is "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". Ensuring gender equality is not about paying for household work, but about giving women the respectthey deserve and ensuring men's participation in household work.

This was stated by the speakers at a view exchange meeting on "Actions to Ensure Gender Equality and Future Development" organized by Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust in the KoibortoConference Room, on March 28, 2022 at 11.00 am. The meeting was chaired by theDirector of Work for a Better Bangladesh TrustGaous Pearee and moderated by Sanjida Akter, Communications Officer. Guest Speakers of the program were Regional Director of HealthBridge Foundation of Canada Debra Efroymson, Department Head of Social Work Department of Peoples’ University of Bangladesh Habibur Rahman, Executive Director of DDP Qazi Sohel Rana, and Head of Program of WBB Trust Syeda Anonna Rahman.

Syeda Anonna Rahman said that it is necessary to teach to respect women from the family. Women need to respect and value themselves. Women are not valued properly despite their significant contribution to the family through household work. Men and women should be responsible and respectful to each other and must have a positive attitude.

Qazi Sohel Ranasaid that although the government has taken various steps for the development of women, the rights of women have not been established yet. Initiativesshould be taken for the development of urban women as well as rural women. Special focus should be given to preventchild marriage, ensure good health and right to education for women.

Habibur Rahman said that the amount of household work done by a woman is not less important than any other job. Women's household work is valuable not only in the family but also in the economy of the country. Women spend most of the time cooking, washing clothes, keeping the house clean, serving everyone, and so on. But it is necessary to change the mentality of underestimating this work as the work of women only. To ensure gender equality, women must be given due respect and participation of men in household chores must be ensured.

Debra Efroymson said inequality between men and women still exists in developing countries as well as in developed countries. Women need to increase their self-confidence. Men and women are collaborators, not competitors. Changing the mindset of family members will play a role in the progress of women.

Gaous Pearee said the law needs to be amended and implemented to establish equal rights for men and women in property inheritance. The National Women's Development Policy, 2011 calls for ensuring the equal rights of women in all activities of the national economy.The contribution of men as well as women in the economy is immense. The massive contribution of women through household work to the national economy is not accepted yet. A wider range of research is needed to properly assess the contribution of women to the economy.

The event was also attended by officials from Native, SUJAN, Humanitarian Aid, Apon Foundation, TMSS, Manobik Unnayan Kendro and Institute of Wellbeing Bangladesh