Sheikh Hasina has called for using the experiences and perspective of women, who are disproportionately affected during crises.
The prime minister was speaking at the High Level Meeting of the Women Leaders during the United Nations General Assembly in its New York headquarters on Tuesday.
“It is important to have women in the leadership team to reflect on the solutions and benefit from their experiences and perspective. Women are disproportionately affected during crises,” she said.
“It is, therefore, important to integrate women in decision-making for finding an effective solution to the crises.
“I strongly feel that it is high time to utilise the network to share views on tackling the complex global challenges and bring positive outcomes not only for our respective countries but also for mankind.”
The theme of this year’s conference “Transformative Solutions by Women Leaders to Today’s Interlinked Challenges” is very pertinent in the current global socio-political context, Hasina said.
“Women are shining in each and every sector, breaking all the stereotyping and showing indomitable courage and leadership skills.”
She said her government has taken steps to empower women and girls, to secure their legal protections and create new ways for them to attain financial freedom.
Bangladesh achieved the Millennium Development Goal or MDG No. 3 by ensuring gender parity in primary and secondary education, she said, adding the government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality and empowering women.
About 27 percent of Bangladesh’s national budget is allocated for women’s social and economic empowerment activities, according to her.
Hasina said Bangladesh looks forward to continuing participation in the UN’s efforts to encourage women leadership globally.
The prime minister highlighted some points. Firstly, she said, Advisory Board on Gender Equality is needed at local levels. “We need gender champions at all levels, especially at the grass-root level, and we can lead by example.”
Secondly, women-led civil society organisations need to be nurtured and supported with sufficient political and financial means. The UN has an important role in supporting such efforts.
Finally, she said leaders’ summit was needed to reinforce “our common agenda for gender equality”.
“All leaders – not just us - should join and present concrete commitments for advancing gender equality and women empowerment.”