The Gender Working Group of GIZ Bangladesh hosted the International Women’s Day 2020 event at Long Beach Hotel in Dhaka on 8 March 2020 on the theme of Breaking Gender Stereotypes to discuss about Champions in Bangladesh who are already breaking gender stereotypes and encourage colleagues to think about women’s empowerment and gender equality from a new angle.
Some 150 staff of GIZ Bangladesh participated in the event and listened with rapt attention to the guest speakers and enjoyed the rest of the event. Dr Angelika Fleddermann, Country Director, Ms. Claudia Theise, Head of Finance and Administration and Mr. Werner Lange, Coordinator – Textile Cluster, GIZ Bangladesh opened the event. They spoke about the importance of recognizing women’s contributions in the family, society and work alike, and emphasized on the need for them to achieve financial independence as a means to take control of their own lives.
Ms. Umme Salma mesmerized everyone through her story about how she smashed the glass ceiling and became an Assistant Manager – starting her career as an entry level worker at a garments’ factory and then proving herself through hard work, higher productivity rates than her male colleagues, self-belief and encouragement from her husband. Ms. Salma has recently also attended BMZ’s Green Button programme in Germany on behalf of GIZ.
Ms. Ela Sarker shared stories about her unconventional choice to become a professional sportsperson, currently winning fans as a captain at the National Women’s Cricket League, self-driven by her persistence and the blessings of her mother. However, her road to stardom was not easy whereby she had to overcome many obstacles including objections from her father and lack of adequate access for females in professional sports trainings to reach where she is today.
Presentation was given by Ms. Farah Maysun Khan, Co-Chair and Ms. Sabah Shamsy, Member of the Gender Working Group on the topic of Breaking Gender Stereotypes, featuring champions in Bangladesh and abroad who have overcome odds, societal expectations and gender norms to break the gender stereotype for example many women in Bangladesh have climbed their mountains in life successfully, making marks everywhere, starting from emergence of female surfers, of Cox’s Bazaar and Bangladeshi women in technology working internationally at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States of America (USA). The presentation also highlighted the role men are playing and should be playing side by side with women in their children’s caregiving and sharing the family workload. The audience was greatly awed by these pictures and videos.
The International Women’s Day event was organized as part of Gender Week at GIZ Bangladesh, whereby a week long campaign was also organized where colleagues had the opportunity to post their thoughts, photos, pictures, etc. on creative pin boards set up at each office space, on the probing topic of “What does Gender mean to you?” which was later displayed at the event.
News Credit: Kaniz Fatema, Mehzabin Ahmed, Farah Khan Maysun, Shamim Ahsan Khan
Photo Credit: Mynul Mahmud Kader and Akhlakur Rahman / GIZ