Berlin: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that only democracy can lead to sustainable development of people and nations, and she is trying hard to establish democracy firmly by strengthening parliamentary practices and the media.
“We have indeed been trying hard to establish democracy firmly through strengthening our parliamentary practices and our media, empowering our women, as well as through establishing other democratic institutions such as the Commissions on Election, Human Rights, Anti-Corruption and Information,” she said at a dinner hosted by German-South Asian Parliamentary Group at Hotel Regent Monday evening.
Hasina said that since women empowerment is vital for real and sustainable democracy, the present government is encouraging women to participate in all spheres of national life, particularly in politics.
She said that in the local government elections 45,000 women contested and nearly 13,000 were elected to seats reserved for women. In the parliament, the number of reserved seats for women has also been increased to 50 from earlier 45.
The Prime Minister said that during her first tenure, the Prime Minister’s Question Hour has been introduced in parliament to ensure transparency and accountability.
She said her government has also introduced live television coverage of the parliamentary proceedings for the benefit of the people.
Besides, Hasina said, one of the first steps she took to consolidate democracy was to establish 48 parliamentary standing committees in the first session of the present parliament, something that was never done before.
“I have also revived the `Prime Minister’s Question-Answer Time’ and allowed 22 private TV channels and 352 daily newspapers to strengthen democratic practice in the country,” she said.
The Prime Minister said that for empowering women, she has laid the ground for 64 women to become MPs of whom, 19 are directly elected, a Whip and two women chairperson of parliamentary standing committees that include other women as members.
She said there is also a woman deputy leader of the house, leader of the opposition and the prime minister.
Moreover, Hasina said, she has appointed five ministers who hold the important portfolios of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Labour, and Women and Children’s Affairs.
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