Govt panel wants female officials barred from guard of honour

14 June 2021


News Desk :
Bangladesh boasts about its success in empowering women in society. Now a parliamentary committee wants to buck the trend. It has recommended barring female officials from giving the guard of honour to dead freedom fighters, reports, bdnews24.com.
When war veterans die, they are honoured by the district or Upazila authorities on behalf of the state.
Government officials, such as deputy commissioners or Upazila executive officers or UNOs, place flowers on the coffin as per the state honour rules.
Women head the administrations in many districts and Upazilas as DCs and UNOs, and this is where the parliamentary standing committee on Liberation War affairs ministry sees the problem.   
It discussed the issue on Sunday and recommended replacing the women officials with male during the guard of honour for the freedom fighters.
"Many people raise questions at the local levels when a female UNO goes to give the guard of honour," said the committee's Chairman Shahjahan Khan.
"Women are not allowed to attend Janaza (funeral prayers). So, the objection (to their presence) has been raised in case of guard of honour."
Earlier, when the law ministry had recommended against the appointment of women as Kazi or Muslim marriage registrar, the High Court had backed the government's decision. The Appellate Division is hearing the case.  
The committee recommended the construction of a Liberation War memorial in place of Zia Shishu Park at Chattogram Circuit House.
It said the place should have a memorial because it is significant in the history of Bangladesh's independence.
The Pakistani forces surrendered there after their defeat in the 1971 war.
Shahjahan said the circuit house room, where former military strongman and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was assassinated, will be preserved.
The committee asked the ministry to complete the list of freedom fighters without delay and also make one of the Razakars - Bengalis who had collaborated with Pakistan during the war.

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