Rural women celebrate their achievements in Cox’s Bazar

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and other partners, celebrated the International Women’s Day through sharing stories of women changemakers on 10 March 2020 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The occasion brought together community women changemakers who set examples of leadership in different sectors including Government services, community leadership, agriculture and development.

“All of our community women changemakers who are present today are true fighters, this fight is not against anyone but against gender discrimination. All of us, regardless if we are men or women, should raise our voices for women rights and gender equality,” said Mr Md. Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner of the Government of Bangladesh, while delivering his speech as the Chief Guest. “The relation between men and women should not be based on domination, but on love, compassion and cooperation so that we progress together,” he added.

Mr Abul Kashem, Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Extension emphasized the contribution women have made at both the household and national level through agricultural activities. Lucky Sharma, the leader of one of the FAO-supported women farmers’ group in Cox’s Bazar, proudly shared her group’s experience, “we are working in the field and our farmers are introducing new technologies, which are being adopted by the whole community, including men farmers.”

“Learning from FAO Farmer Field Schools, our farmers are now using vermicompost instead of chemical fertilizer”, she added. The speakers and community leaders urged everyone to take collective action in achieving gender equality. Government officials appreciated FAO’s work in reducing hunger and enhancing the agri-food system by empowering women and closing the gender group.

“FAO is currently supporting 25 000 farming households, including at least 30 percent who are women, in Cox’s Bazar. Women’s empowerment has been pursued as a strategy to ensure leadership and meaningful representation of women and marginalized communities,” said Malika Budanaeva, Emergency Operation Office of FAO. The event concluded with a common pledge to work together for women’s empowerment and gender equality, reflecting on this year International Women Day’s theme ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.’

Source : Fao