IWD 2011 speech of the representative of the communists of Bangladesh.

Dear Friends,
 
On behalf of the Bangladeshi delegation please accept the greetings on this great event of celebration for hundred years of International Women Day. We are all aware of the heroic struggle of women workers in 1911 which is still continuing. Women of Bangladesh are also an integrated part of this process of struggle for emancipation from all forms of exploitation. As a South Asian country we have been enriched with diverse culture and heritage, both secular and religious. In general people are peace loving, tolerant, love to enjoy the beauty of nature in quite village community, which is well known through the literary and artistic works. Bangladeshi women are very much caring and sensitive towards the needs of their near and dear one, their struggle also persistence towards progress. In this long journey Khona, Begum Rokeya, Sufia Kamal, Monuroma basu, Ila Mitra, Hena Das is our path finders 
 
 
International Women’s Day has been observed in Bangledsh since the independence of the country in 1971, observed with great enthusiasm. During the liberation war 1971, we received strength and support from the international women’s movement and fraternity of international progressive movement especially the under the leadership from the then U.S.S.R along with other socialist countries and their allies. We saw the women’s committees raise their voice in international forum against the mass killing and violence against women by the occupying Pakistani forces. During the war huge number of people fled to the neighbouring country India to save their live. India is facilitating all the opportunities, to ensure our safety and dignity. Because of all these support, we have achieved victory with only nine months long heroic arm struggle. We never forget i.
 
The culmination of all these efforts resulted in socialism; secularism, equality of women etc are enshrined in the constitution of Bangladesh after independence. But we are still fighting to protect the constitutional pledges. Religious fundamentalism; neo liberal paradigm in political, economic and social field are creating enormous barrier on our way to implant those.
 
Although Govt of Bangladesh recognise the greater and effective participation of women in politics and governance challenging the age old prohibitions of patriarchal ideology through appointing women Ministers in important ministry ( Foreign, Agriculture, Home affairs, Women) along with legislative enactments , policies, rules regulation and operational procedure to enhance women friendly environment . Still the majority of women in Bangladesh suffering from vices of patriarchy.  Statistics revealed about 70% of adult women are  the victim of violence in some form at their life time, at the decision making level women engaged only less than 10%. Negative impact of neo-liberal development paradigm and economic strategies, increase the insecurity, gender based violence and lack of protection which is directly linked to empowerment of women. The current global crisis of climate change is also contributing towards vulnerability of our deprived community at local level. The network of evil forces is taking this entire crisis situation which is arising due to early flooding, draught and cyclone. Women of Bangladesh are engaged in these continuous struggles in the field man made and natural, they always take stand in favour of humanity to ease the sufferings at local, regional and international level. 
 
In the rapidly changing world Bangladeshi women are also increasingly participating towards mainstream political, economic and social life. Both of our prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition are women since 1991. Women are increasingly contributing towards administrative, judicial and cultural reform. But Bangladeshi women’s contribution is not limited to national boundary. Here in the U.K, we are witnessing a growing number of Bangladeshi women in the public offices, elected bodies, and professional arena as well the working community maintaining the essential services of this country. However being a part of the most deprived communities in the U.K, Bangladeshi women experience exclusion and racialism on the one hand and victim of violence in the name of family honour and religion on the other. This scenario is not an exception in U.K. The experience of Bangladeshi women is even worse in those countries, where U.N Convention for Eliminations of Discriminations of All forms Equality Against Women (CEDAW) or ILO convention were not signed, even they are the members of the united Nations. So struggle of Bangledeshi women has got its national, regional and international face also. 
 
We are aware that old slogans are not sufficient for organisation and mobilisation. We need to call for all exlcuded women along with ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities to unite to struggle against injustice and expolitation from their respective position.
The fight for entitlements such as employment, food, education, health. housing, human security, social security, dignity and the like needs to be carried out through the force of the exploited masses as well as the excluded social groups. We need to  alert governments on their responsibilities and to bring a collective sense of social responsibility within the country as well as region and across the world. So let us unite all the progressive forces and enhance our effort to have our human dignity. We are not alone.