Chorusing this year’s slogan 'Choose to Challenge', renowned cultural organisations Monday observed International Women’s Day through various programmes, featuring powerful discussions and cultural shows.
Adjusting to the new normal amid the Covid pandemic, several organisations from home and abroad went for virtual programmes this year. However, some organisations in Dhaka, including Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad and Bandhu Social Welfare Society, organised a number of cultural programmes to celebrate the day.
A special recitation programme was organised by Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad at Nandan Mancha of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Monday afternoon.
Education Minister Dipu Moni joined the event as the chief guest while former Minister for Cultural Affairs and president of Abritti Samannay Parishad Asaduzzaman Noor and former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique were present as special guests.
Shirin Islam presented the keynote speech titled ‘Bangabandhur Bhabonay Nari’, written by Selina Hossain. Presidium member of Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad, Rezina Wali Lina presided over the event, while Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad general secretary Ahkam Ullah delivered the welcome speech.
Noted female recitation artistes performed both solo and group recitations at the event. Laila Afroz, Naila Tarannum Chowdhury Kakoli, Jharna Chowdhury, Shamima Tandra, Tamanna Sarwar Nipa, Mahmuda Akter Tamanna and others performed solo recitations, while Rezina Wali Lina, Suborna Afrin, Ananya Saha, Nasima Khan Bakul, Kazi Bushra Ahmed Tithi, Rabia Sultana Panna and child artistes of Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad performed group recitations.
With a vision to create awareness regarding the leadership role of transgender women among mass population and encourage gender diversity among people through stories from successful creative thinkers, Bandhu Social Welfare Society arranged a programme at Bangladesh Girl Guides Association on Bailey Road in the evening.
The event featured discussion and dance shows. Election commissioner Begum Kabita Khanam joined the programme as the chief guest while the first-secretary of Australian High Commission in Bangladesh Sacha Blumen, counsellor political affairs of Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh Rosalee LaPlante, eminent dancer Shamim Ara Nipa, noted filmmaker Nargis Akter, transgender activist and president of Siri Samaj Kallyan Sangstha Arifa Yasmin Moyuri spoke at the event.
A thematic dance titled 'Naree: A symbol of Women Empowerment' was showcased at the event, followed by a special dance recital by Bandhu’s Essence of Soul -- ‘Beautiful Bangladesh’, dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
German institutions Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademie and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh jointly started a project with young feminists titled ‘The Young Feminism vodcast’ on Monday on Goethe-Institut Bangladesh’s YouTube channel and DW Bengali’s Facebook page.
Romana Akthar Shanta and Mohammad Jawad Hossain, journalism students of Chittagong University, interviewed Esha Aurora, assistant news editor at Dhaka Tribune and Tasnuva Ahmed, a broadcast media personality and gender equality promoter. The vodcast featured insightful, casual talks about the ever-evolving challenges women have to face every day in their lives.
The Gronthee, a South Asian literary platform in the UK, in collaboration with Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian music, a leading promoter of Indian classical and global music, as well as La Ninfa Eco, a British-Argentine literary magazine, jointly celebrated the International Women’s Day through a virtual event on Sunday.
Titled 'Re-interpreting Begum Rokeya: International Women’s Day celebration', the event focused on the eventful life of Begum Rokeya, a Bengali feminist of the 20th century, and other contemporary feminist issues.
Streamed live on The Gronthee’s Facebook page and Saudha’s YouTube channel, the virtual event featured 31 speakers and performers, including Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, as the chief guest.
Vice-Chancellor of Barisal University professor Sadequl Arefin, journalist and filmmaker Gita Sahgal, writer and feminist Dr Amrita Wilson, former Member of Parliament Mahjabeen Khaled, Professor Rashmi Varma of Warwick University in the UK and Professor Mirza Taslima Sultana of
Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh joined the event.
Anchored by poet TM Ahmed Kaysher, director of Saudha, and coordinated by the editor of Gronthee poet Shamim Shahan, the session featured the presentation of spoken-word performances by a Spain-based Latin American poet and feminist Rosy Sune, US-based artiste Mariam Tamborenea, US-based playwright Nancy Guevera, British-Argentine poet Gaby Sambuccetti, Chilean writer Carmen Berenguer, Mexican poet Claudia Posadas, Singapore-based Indian poet Nandini Mehra, British-Ukrainian poet and filmmaker Vera Graziadei, British-Indian writer Shree Ganguly and Bengali poet Sebonti Ghosh.
Iranian musician Niknaz Mirghalami, celebrated British-Indian vocalist and composer Supriya Nagarajan, Hindustani semi-classical singer Sumana Mallik Basu and Bengali singer Jessy Barua rendered song performances while Kathak performer from India Maya Kulshreastha, Gaudiya Nritya performer from Bangladesh Rachel Perris, Spain-based Indian choreographer and classical dancer Sohini Roy Chowdhury Dasgupta showcased dance performances at the programme.
A three-day film festival titled 'Joyeeta Foundation Chalachchitra Utsab 2021' concluded at the Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Monday. The three-day event was organised by Bangladesh International Film Movement, in association with BSA and Joyeeta Foundation, featuring six films made by the local female filmmakers.
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) arranged a special webinar with the Department of English and Humanities (DEH) on Monday evening on Zoom. Following this year’s theme 'Choose to Challenge', the webinar featured a conversation between Supa Sadia, writer and researcher, and Qazi Mustabeen Noor, Lecturer of DEH, where they talked about Sadia’s work on the project called 'Sheroes of 1952 and 1971'.