Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | ePaper

Executive Director of DRRA tells

Women fall victims to money, religion during polls

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UNB, Dhaka :
Participating in the Election Commission's dialogue, women leaders on Monday said they badly fall victims to the use of money and religion during the polls.
"Women can't take their decisions on their own in many cases for various pressures during the polls. They become the worse victims to the use of religion and money. We've asked the EC to take steps to address it," Farida Yesmin, Executive Director of Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA), told reporters after the dialogue.
The EC arranged the talks as part of its ongoing dialogues with different stakeholders seeking their opinions over the Commission's preparation for the next general election likely to be held in December 2018.
Out of 22 invitees, 13 women leaders attended the talks held at Nirbachan Bhaban with Chief Election Commissioner
KM Nurul Huda in the chair. Farida said, the Election Commission should have a monitoring system and awareness programmes so that no one can influence the free choice of women using money and misusing religion during the election.
Rokeya Kabir, Executive Director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, said they protested a proposal placed by several Islamic parties in the EC's dialogues to revoke the condition for all the registered parties to have 33 percent women in their committees at all levels by 2020.
"We came to know some parties proposed dropping the condition for political parties to fulfill at least 33 percent of their all committee positions with women by 2020. We've protested the proposal," she told the journalists.
She also said, they urged the Commission to examine the charters of political parties and cancel their registration if there is anything that contradicts the Constitution in their charters.
Rokeya Kabir said they urged the EC to create a level-playing field not only for some particular parties, but also for all irrespective of men and women in the election.
As the women do not get the equal share from the inheritance property, they are not financially independent and cannot contest the election, she added.
Aroma Dutta, Executive Director of PRIP Trust (Private Rural Initiatives Program), said the Commission will have to take measures to protect vulnerable groups from election violence and enabling elderly and disabled people to participate in the election properly.
She also said the media should be allowed to play its due role during the election.
A women leader said they suggested restoration of 'No Vote' provision, while another leader said they asked for increasing the number of reserved seats for women in Parliament.
The EC earlier held talks with civil society members, media persons, and registered political parties and election observers. It will conclude its dialogue with talks with election experts on Tuesday.

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