Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday handed over the newly- introduced "Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Award" to five women in recognition of their outstanding contributions to different sectors.
The recipients are freedom fighter from Brahmanbaria Prof Momtaz Begum (posthumous) in Independence and Liberation War category; Tangail's Joya Pati (posthumous) in Education, Culture and Sports; Pabna's Nurunnahar Begum in Agriculture and Rural Development; freedom fighter from Cumilla Principal Jobeda Khatun Parul in Politics; and Netrakona's Nadira Jahan (Surma Jahid) in Research.
The award is considered as the highest state award for women in the "Ka" category, according to the Women's and Children Ministry.
The award-giving ceremony was held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
Organized by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined it virtually as the chief guest.
The government has introduced the award to recognize five Bangladeshi women in different categories -- politics, economics, education, culture and sports, social services, independence and Liberation War, research, and agriculture and rural development -- every year.
Each awardee received a medal made of 40 gm of 18-carat gold, a replica of the medal, a cheque for Tk 4 lakh and a certificate of honour.
Begum Fazilatun Nesa, the mother of the Prime Minister and wife of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, embraced martyrdom along with Bangabandhu and other family members in a brutal attack by some army personnel on August 15, 1975.
She was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj on August 8, 1930, and struggled for an independent Bangladesh alongside Bangabandhu.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira, on behalf of the Prime Minister, distributed the award among the winners.
On behalf of the award winners, freedom fighter from Cumilla Principal Jobeda Khatun Parul expressed her feelings at the event.