The Church of Bangladesh leads widespread activities to mark International Women’s Day

14 March 2013

Led by the Moderator and Bishop Paul S Sarker, who guided the whole programme and inspired follow up work, the programme took out the Christian message of equality, involving both men and women activities.

The Ministry of Women Fellowship of COB this year arranged a very organized programme and that was undertaken at all churches. They focused of the theme of the Year “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” and call the congregation quoting from St. Paul to Galatians” There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28) stressed on securing the rights, equality  and empowering of the women to achieve gender equality through the cooperation of men and women together and prayed to God for having the strength and wisdom to act on that.

The Ministry of Social Development of COB took separate programme to observe the day at all upazilas where it works. The activities included seminar, rally, group based discussion and disseminating messages to individual households. The overall focus of its programme was on understanding the gender equality status in the society, situation of domestic violence, women rights and searching the ways for women empowerments.

In the seminar many different issues on women empowerment were discussed, and many different views shared taking from real experiences and sufferings.  One woman, Shahida Begum from CBSDP group appreciated the Church initiative to promote women rights and values through its development activities. She commented, “It is we the women need to be united to establish our rights that have given by our constitution and other conventions. Men should support us, but we can’t wait for that. The progress is ours, we should try it by ourselves first. She demanded specified spaces at all public places, like buses, trains, in different committees and so on for the women.”

The constraints in access to facilities of women particularly different places for their secured mobility was a strong topic in discussion with reference to Anglican Alliance’s messages for the year 2013, “Reclaiming Public Spaces”. They used the Alliances gender resource materials to observe the day making it translated from English to Bangla.