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Bangladesh wins international award for women's empowerment
Wednesday March 25, 2015 8:08 AM, IANS

Bangladesh has won an international award for women's empowerment and reducing gender gaps, securing a place among the top 10 countries that reduced gender gaps in politics significantly, media reported on Tuesday.

The Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum presented this award to Bangladesh in its annual summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, reported.

Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammad Shahriar Alam received the award on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The foreign ministry said that Bangladesh won the award in the "South and Southeast Asia" category.

The WIP is the global network of female parliamentarians at the national level, including those from the European parliament, of whom there currently are around 9,000.

The awards are based on the rankings of the World Economic Forum's "Global Gender Gap Report".

The index featured in the report assesses 135 countries, representing more than 93 percent of the world's population, on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations.

The Bangladesh government dedicated the award to more than 200,000 women who were the victims of violence during the 1971 war of independence. The award comes only a few days before Bangladesh's 45th Independence Day on March 26.

Bangladesh is perhaps the only country where the prime minister, parliament speaker, leader of the opposition, deputy leader of the house, and a major opposition leader are all women.

Alam said that women's active participation in politics, defence, administration and business in Bangladesh had made the country "a pioneer in the cause of women's rights".

He also reaffirmed Bangladesh's "unequivocal commitment to establishing gender equality and uproot violence against women from the society".

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