The United Nations here has celebrated International Women’s Day with theme of “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” with commitments from youth, on what they can do to achieve gender equality.
This year, United Nations got together a few days in advance, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, which was an event for the youth and by the youth.
The event started with a performance by students of Women’s Peace Cafe, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, which showed the different roles of women and how they can be anything and everything they aim to be.
Speaking at the function held on Thursday, Resident Representative, UNDP Sudipto Mukerjee has said, “We must change the way we look at girls. Gender equality has been long associated with persistent social practices and norms.”
“They tell you what you should wear, when to get married, whether to bear a child. That needs to change. Let’s start by challenging stereotypes-both for men and women, and we must start today,” he said.
The highlight of the event was an intergenerational dialogue which consisted of women and girls from different generations.
Shathira Jakir Jessy, Bangladesh national women's cricket team player, Surudhani Kisku, Bangladesh women's national under-16 football team player and Quamrun Nahar Dana, a former national award -winning badminton player were present along with entrepreneurs Taslima Miji, Selina Quader and Saraban Tahura where they talked about their strengths, how they overcome challenges and gave messages to the new generation to form a gender-equal world.
This was followed by a performance by Bandhu Social Welfare Society that demonstrated the woes of trans-persons, and a speech by Shoko Ishikawa, Acting Resident Coordinator, United Nations, Bangladesh and Country Representative, UN Women, Bangladesh.
“We need to raise more awareness about the key issue of consent, that only ‘yes means yes’, and that consent must be given freely without manipulation or coercion,” she said.
Shoko Ishikawa said it is also important to start discussing sex and sexuality more openly and positively in a healthy and respectful manner, including in inter-generational dialogue with men and women like today’s, and through comprehensive sexuality education, and also need to be open to other genders, beyond third gender.
Development partners such as Her Story Foundation, Save the Children Bangladesh, Plan International, Red Orange Media and Communications, Action Aid Bangladesh, Marie Stopes Bangladesh, PSTC, and Action Against Hunger also participated at the event.