Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina underscored the need for forming a Women Leaders' Network as it would help ensure gender equality.
She said: "It is greatly empowering to be with you all. I strongly feel that we can establish a Women Leaders' Network which can bring us together, not just for one-off meetings, but to act as a force to ensure real actions to achieve gender equality."
Sheikh Hasina was addressing a high-level meeting on Women Leaders, convened by the President of the General Assembly.
Besides, she placed three proposals before the world leaders at the meeting that need to be addressed properly to ensure gender equality.
"I commend you for founding the Advisory Board on Gender Equality. This now needs to be localized. We need gender champions at every level, especially at the grass roots level, and we can lead by example," said the Bangladesh PM.
Secondly, the women-led organizations need to be nurtured and supported with sufficient political and financial means, she said, adding the UN has an important role in supporting such efforts.
Sheikh Hasina, in her third and final proposal, said, "I invite you to convene a leaders' summit to reinforce our common agenda for gender equality. All leaders - not just us - should join and present concrete commitments for advancing gender equality."
"Unpaid care work has increased. Gender-based violence has risen. UNICEF anticipates additional ten million child marriages before the end of this decade," she also said.
In Bangladesh, special emphasis has been laid to empower women, the Bangladesh PM added.
"We need to act urgently to stop this. For that, we must place women at the front and center of COVID recovery," she continued.
In Bangladesh, to keep our economy afloat in the pandemic, she said, "We announced 28 stimulus packages worth 14.6 billion US dollars. Our social safety net programmes have been expanded to cover 11 million people, most of whom are women and children."
Sheikh Hasina said her government has made special allocation for women-led SME sector; introduced special skill projects in all districts, and announced interest-free mortgage and loan facilities for women entrepreneurs.
BDST: 1210 HRS, SEP 22, 2021