OUTSTANDING BANGLADESHI WOMAN
Sheikh Hasina Wazed is a daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first Prime Minister and President of Bangladesh. There were many tragic moments in her life, but she did not give up, and her desire to create peaceful state became even stronger.
The first tragedy happened in her youth. Her father, mother and three brothers were killed during the military coup on August 15, 1975. 22 years later Ms. Wazed made one of the main steps in her political career. In December 1997, she signed a peace treaty that resolved the Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict. That was an agreement between the government and the ‘Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti’, a political organization of tribes of the region. Thanks to it, the decades of violence and hostility came to their end. The agreement was signed a year after Sheikh Hasina Wazed became the first female Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
However, other conflicts appeared after that. In 2009, Dhaka experienced the Bangladesh Rifles revolt. Sheikh Hasina Wazed made her every diplomatic effort, and after negotiations the rebels laid down their arms.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed is a big proponent of women and children’s rights. She contributes greatly to giving Bangladeshi women a voice in the country’s politics. In 2014, she received the UNESCO Peace Tree award for her commitment to empowering women and girl’s education. Three years later she launched 136th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union on the topic 'Redressing Inequalities: Delivering on Dignity and Well-Being for all’. According to Sheikh Hasina, she was deeply honoured for the opportunity to inaugurate the IPU conference. That was a matter of great honour for her country as well. The meeting was arranged jointly by Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad and the IPU. And a year before that Sheikh Hasina Wazed was awarded the Planet 50-50 Champion award by UN-Women in 2016.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed is confident that it is impossible to solve global problems alone. That is why on April 1, 2017 she called for the IPU leaders to work together to fight social inequality, poverty, malnutrition, terrorism, and militancy. According to the Prime Minister, a large number of children of the developing nations suffer from stunted growth because of lack of nutrition. They are deprived of healthcare and schooling as well. Her opinion is that the Earth is filled with enough resources for survival of humanity. A little sympathy and support from the world can make the globe hunger-free easily.
Another important direction of her activity relates to supporting people with autism. In April 2017, the Prime Minister took part in the International Conference on Autism and Neuro Developmental Disorders in Bhutan. She noted that all countries must keep supporting their most vulnerable citizens. According to her, it is the responsibility of all to make sure adequate social and medical support for people with autism and neuro-development disorders.
"We need to recognize that children with ASD and other Neuro-Developmental Disorders need specific educational intervention. It's of utmost importance to create education systems that would cater to their different and unique learning needs while ensuring access by them to general education systems", she said.
In fact, incorporating disability and autism into the mainstream national developmental agenda is one of the priority areas in Bangladesh. According to Sheikh Hasina Wazed, this year a nationwide census in Bangladesh for the first time has included information on citizens with disabilities including autism. Thanks to the Prime Minister, Bangladesh has taken a number of legislative, social and medical initiatives in order to address the issue of autism. Thus, Advisory Committee for Autism and Neuro-Developmental Disorders started its operation. It consists of 8 people. The committee helps develop programs, invent strategies of their implementation, identify the necessary resources and give instructions on their use in the work to address this issue.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed conducts active negotiations with representatives of other countries. She discussed stimulating trade with the European countries with EU Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon. Bangladesh established 100 economic zones across the country. Thus, EU countries can invest for mutual benefits and thus accelerate Bangladesh's economic activities. Pierre Mayaudon highly appreciated the Prime Minister’s activity contributing to trade development. He encouraged more Bangladesh's participation in Horizon 2020 initiative by the EU aimed at promotion of science, technology and innovation in collaboration with different countries.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed contributes to solving all social problems of the world including environmental pollution. She expressed horror about the climate changes and urged the top polluters to meet without delay their commitments made in different forums for carbon offsetting.
According to Forbes magazine, she is in the list of 100 most powerful women in the world. She attracts the global public’s attention to such issues as childhood and motherhood. Thanks to her, a resolution to ensure women's access to finance was signed. Sheikh Hasina Vazed makes every effort to ensure that her country's citizens and people throughout the world create and protect the healthy society, because the whole Earth is our homeland.
Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov