Dhaka, September 22: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been conferred upon the ‘Planet 50-50 Champion’ and ‘Agent of Change Award’ for her outstanding contributions to women empowerment.
The UN-Women recognized the prime minister as ‘Planet 50-50 Champion’, while Global Partnership Forum handed over the “Agent of Change Award” to her at a high-level reception at the UN Plaza at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday evening.
President of the Republic of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and First Lady of the United Nations Ban Soon-taek were also given “Planet 50-50 Champion” and “Agent of Change Award” along with the Bangladesh premier.
UN Women Deputy Executive Director Laksmi Puri delivered the welcome address and read out citation of the awardees.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Global Partnerships Forum President and CEO Amir Dossal gave the closing remarks.
“I feel humbled by these recognitions … I thank UN-Women and Global Partnership Forum for giving me this honour,” Sheikh Hasina said while accepting the award, The premier said termed the honour as recognition for the women of Bangladesh as the true agents of change.
“This is a recognition for our women working in equal partnership with our men…I dedicate these awards to the people of Bangladesh for having faith in my vision for change,” she said Sheikh Hasina recalled the memory of her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for raising her with that vision.
“I believe sustainable future of our planet is a shared responsibility of our women and men. We’ve arrived at a time in our history when gender equality is no longer an aspiration, but a real possibility everywhere,” She said.
The prime minister said that the path to women’s empowerment has not been easy, and would not always be smooth. “But, we must forge ahead with courage and determination,” Sheikh Hasina said that the cross-cutting gender agenda in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will give impetus to the development efforts, reports BSS.
“I dream of a world where women’s rights will be respected by all, where all forms of violence and discriminations against women will be things of the past,” The prime minister also extended her gratefulness to the country’s women and men for giving solid proof of Bangladesh’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
She added: “On their behalf, I reaffirm our pledge to implement the SDGs, with gender equality at the core.”
Local Government Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc, PM’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Dr Dipu Moni and Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M Ziauddin were present, among others.