Women and girls represent an immense source of potential and power to combat the increased disaster risks that needs equal emphasis. Citing the vital and unsung roles of women the honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for concerted actions and empowerment of women and girls for a safer tomorrow while delivering her speech as Chief Guest on the occasion of observing International Disaster Reduction Day 2012 at BICC Conference Centre on 13th October.
This year in Bangladesh the day carried special significance as for the first time according to government order the observance of the day has been upgraded from ‘C’ category event to ‘B’ category event. This year the theme of International Disaster Reduction Day was “Women and Girls: (In) Visible Force of Resilience” that focused the unique opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the millions of women and girls who constantly making their communities more resilient to disasters and climate risks. In Bangladesh this theme has been transformed as “Durjog Shohonshil Desh Gori, Shohayok Shokti Balika O’ Nari” which is the call to reap the benefits of and protect the development investments of women and girls. The 2012 IDDR theme draws attention to the fact that women’s contributions to protect and rebuild their communities before and after disasters are often unrecognized and thus needs special attention to include them in all spheres of disaster management initiatives.
Along with the effort of other key stakeholders, the recently converted Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in collaboration with the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP II), took lead role for observation of IDDR and extend support for effectively communicate the theme among mass audience to ensure wider participation. Particular emphasize has been given to provide women and girls with all the technical support and skills to communicate and information they need to become participants, decision makers and implementers in the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation process. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, State Minister for Housing and Public Works Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan presented in the occasion as Special Guest while UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Neal Walker was Guest of Honour.
At the event honourable PM listed her government's various steps, including recently enacted Disaster Management Act 2012 by the National Parliament on 12th September 2012 which is a significant achievement for the country in twenty years efforts of the government and civil society actors. She reiterated government’s firm commitment towards building a disaster resilient nation. Followed by the formal inauguration of the day a cultural show and disaster related folk pot song were arranged to showcase the evolution of disaster management history of the country to the audience. Later Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina distributed awards to the winners of nation-wide essay and art competition.
For further information please contact:
A.K.M. Tariful Islam Khan, Advocacy and Communication Officer
Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP II), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh
Tel # 989 0937; 882 1255; 882 1459; (Ext- 133), Mobile: + 88 01914088861