Apr 06, 2011

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Indigenous Women Still Deprived

Hill Women's Federation conclude during debate at Dhaka University that the rights of indigenous woman are still not respected after 40 years of Bangladeshi independence

Below is an article published by The Daily Star: 

Rights of indigenous women in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area are not established as the CHT peace accord was not properly implemented, speakers observed at a discussion yesterday [4 April 2011]. 

They said a seperate chapter should be included in National Women Development Policy for the empowerment and development of indigenous women and also demanded reserving seats in parliament for them.

The discussion on CHT peace accord and development of indigenous women in CHT was held at RC Majumder auditorium of Dhaka University organised by Hill Women's Federation. 

Zobaeda Nasrin of anthropology department of Dhaka University said the issue of development of indigenous women is not included in the five year plan or the policy. 

Forty years has passed since independence but attitude toward women, especially indigenous, has not change at all, she said.

She said incidents of rape of indigenous women by army men and settler Bangalees are state-sponsored incidents, which cannot be compared to ones taking place in the plain lands of the country. 

Shaktipada Tripura, organising secretary of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS), said it would be hard to establish rights of indigenous women if country does not establish women's rights first. 

Even though women have been heading governments in the country for a long time, it is very unfortunate that women's rights are till to be established, he said. 

Bidhayak Chakma, a PCJSS member, said not only army men and settlers but also their own communities suppress indigenous women. 

Chanchana Chakma, the federation's organising secretary, presented a keynote paper at the discussion, chaired by Srijoni Tripura, the federation's Dhaka City unit convenor.