For the very first time, Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP) celebrated the International Women’s Day jointly with Bangladesh Women and Water Network (BWWN) and Department of Women and Gender Studies (DWGS) of Dhaka University (DU) on 08 March, 2016. The program consisted of a rally followed by a half day seminar on “Women and Water: Global Scenario and Bangladesh Perspectives”. The principal objective of the celebration was to disseminate knowledge amongst university students to raise awareness about gender-based water management. The celebration was attended by more than 120 participants from Academic, Non Academic organizations and members of BWWN.
The event started with the welcome address delivered by Ms. Ishrat Khan Barsha, Assistant Professor of DWGS. She pointed out that International Women’s Day is a very important and significant celebration for the department and its students. Dr. K. Azharul Haq, President of BWP, next took the floor to inform the participants about women’s participation in BWP, its achievement and future strategies under the umbrella of GWP. He also shared a real world scenario in global perspective and urged for women education to get involved in water management from the very early stage. Later Ms. Mukta Akter, Member Secretary of BWWN and Executive Secretary of BWP delivered a presentation on activities, vision and mission of BWWN. Begum Shamsun Nahar, Coordinator of BWWN, then presented the key note paper of the day. She gave an overview of the scenario of women and water in Bangladesh. A successful grass-root level entrepreneur was also invited to motivate students by sharing her success story on water management in her locality.
There were 2 designated discussants from faculty members who discussed on the importance of women participation in water management in Bangladesh. The designated discussants pointed out that the quantitative approach used for measuring women participation in water sector can be misleading since there is no provision for the qualitative impact of water based jobs on women’s lives. A fruitful discussion was followed where students, teachers and guests actively participated on the theme of the day. An important recommendation from the event was to enhance involvement the women in Water Resources Management from their academic stage.
A thematic drama was performed by the faculty students on potable water scarcity and its management in urban area. The session was ended by the concluded remarks by the Faculty Chair of DWGS, Dr. Sayed Saikh Imtiaz.