Jannatul Rafeya, Mehedi Hasan of Dhaka University and Shakil Ahmed of Jagannath University were adjudged as the best debater, first runner up and second runner respectively among 150 young debaters from 17 institutions who debated for two days from 15-16 March on different issues focusing on anti-corruption and equality for women.
Education Minister Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, MP Gave away the prizes and certificates on 16 March- the closing day of the competition. TIB’s secretary general and noted writer Selina Hossain attended the event as the Special Guest. Earlier the event was inaugurated by the State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Ms Meher Afroz Chumki, MP. Member of TIB board of trustees Rokia Afzal Rahman was present as the Special Guest. Executive Director of TIB Dr Iftekharuzzaman presided over both the sessions.
The debate was organised by TIB with this theme “Good Governance and Effective Control of Corruption for Equality of Women” to celebrate the International Women’s Day 2014. The objective of the competition was to sensitise college and university students on women rights and gender equality, raise awareness on repression against women as well as affect of corruption on them and above all encourage them stand against corruption through social movement.
In the opening session, participants questioned the minister on various women development issues. Basana Chakma – a young volunteer from CCC, Rangamati said, “The condition of women in my area knows no bounds and Government needs to act to ensure education and safety for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) women.” She then questioned, “What will your government do to bring an end to repression against CHT women?” Yeasmin Khatun, another volunteer from CCC, Rajshahi asked, “Some of our friends have suggested counseling for harassed women as a preventive measure to tackle untoward situation. But I do believe counseling is very much needed for teasers.”
Education Minister stressed on the need for the world class education to ensure equal rights and respect for male and female. He sought cooperation from all students to resist women harassment through social movement.
Citing from a survey, Dr Zaman said, “Women are more emotional, honest, less likely to give and accept bribe than men and greater good of the society is always a priority to them”. “Countries where women have been politically empowered at national and local level rank low on Corruption Perception Index (CPI)” he added.
The young debaters also raised questions about women's security and education in Chittagong Hill Tracts, cyber crimes, reserved seats in parliament, stalking, sexual harassment, counseling in educational institutions and workplace, and gender issues in madrasa education.
TIB's Programme Manager (Gender) Kazi Shafiqur Rahman presented a position paper highlighting the current status of women in Bangladesh and placed 11 points demand for realization of women’s rights in the country.