Gender inequality spreads corruption and women are more likely to become victims of corruption then men. A Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) study in 2015 found that women are being forced to accept corruption as a way of life, and at the same time they are becoming victims, agents and in some cases beneficiaries of corruption. To ensure women’s adequate representation at all stages of governance framework, it is important to mainstream gender in anti-corruption activities.
To generate larger awareness and capacity building of agents of change, TIB observed International Women’s Day 2018 with the theme: “Sustainable development and good governance: Need empowered women, awakened conscience”. At national level, the day was observed through series of events which included a workshop with women government officials and a national debate competition in participation with 32 teams from different universities of the country. The day was also observed in 45 CCC areas by organizing rally, street theatre, discussion meeting and cultural programmes.
On 1 March, 2017, TIB organised a workshop titled ‘Sustainable development goals, good governance and women’ at Meghomala Conference room of TIB to discuss about the status and role of women in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring good governance. 15 female Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) of fifteen upazila from all the administrative divisions of the country participated in the event with the approval and assistance of Bangladesh government’s Cabinet Division. Besides, humanitarian activist Advocate U. M. Habibun Nessa and TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman; Adviser – Executive Management Professor Dr. Sumaiya Khair; and Outreach and Communication Director Dr. Rezwan ul Alam attended.
The main purpose of the workshop was to inform and encourage the female government officials to play effective role in implementing the gender related goal 5 and good governance related goal 16 of SDGs.
Welcoming the participants to the event, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said that there is an intensive connection between Government’s vision 2021 and seventh five-year plan, and SDGs 5 and 16. He said, to achieve inclusive development in establishing good governance with ensuring transparency and accountability in administration through increased women’s participation in decision-making process and women empowerment, from central to grassroots, there is no alternative to carry on from the gender sensitive perspective. Dr. Zaman congratulated the participants for their courageous contribution in implementing governments development plans especially at the field level, despite numerous challenges and lack of adequate support and logistics.
The workshop kicked off with a presentation made by Dr. Rezwan ul Alam on ‘Sustainable Development Goals, good governance and women’, highlighting the synergy between SDG 16 and 5 with the 7th Five-year plan of Bangladesh, women rights and empowerment in SDG, intra-relationship between women and good governance and required actions to deal the challenges of women rights and empowerment.
Advocate U. M. Habibun Nessa facilitated an open interactive session on ‘Inclusive strategy in ensuring sustainable development: no one will be left behind’. The female officials participated in group activities on ‘Good governance in women right and empowerment process: Recommendation for Upazila level’ and later presented their findings.
At the concluding session, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman gaveaway the certificates among the participants. He urged the female officers to continue their crucial role in inspiring, encouraging, organising and empowering women. Appreciating the initiative of TIB, the participants expressed that this forum inspired them positively and they expected to share and apply these experiences among their networks.