2008 National Girl Child Day Celebration in Bangladesh
On October 15, 2008 the people of Bangladesh observed the 9th National Girl Child Day. National Girl Child Day is a national strategy that seeks to improve the status of and end discrimination against girls in Bangladeshi society. Since 2000, Bangladesh has celebrated National Girl Child Day each year as one day of the annual Children's Rights Week.
This year's celebration was jointly organized by The National Girl Child Forum (NGCF), the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MWCA), UNICEF, Save the Children (Sweden and Denmark), International Labor Organization (ILO) and Shishu Adhikar Forum (Children's Rights Forum) and 40 other local organizations.
All the events organized by these prestigious organizations were celebrated all over the country - in all 64 districts, 207 upazillas (sub-districts) and 403 unions.
The day's program started with a colorful Grand Rally that began at the National Public Library and ended at the Shishu (Children's) Academy, with a seminar. More than 2,000 women, men and children participated, including students and teachers from various schools and colleges, parents and guardians, heads of the various organizations and leading citizen activists. The rally was inaugurated by Rasheda K. Chowdhury, the Honorable Advisor to the caretaker government. Ms. Rokeya Sultana, Secretary, MWCA; Ms. Mushfeqa Ifqat, Chairperson of Shishu Academy; and Ms. Shaoli Suman, Director of the Academy, also joined the rally.
After the rally, everyone participated in a special seminar that ended with a prize-giving ceremony. Ms. Rokeya Sultana, the Chief Guest, addressed the crowd. Other notable speakers were: Ms. Latifa Akond; Dr. Halima Khatun, a veteran of the language movement and professor at Dhaka University; eminent painter Mostafa Monowar; and The Hunger Project-Bangladesh Country Director, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar.
The following activities were also held to celebrate the life of the Bangladeshi girl child:
- 650 children participated in an art competition on September 24th;
- A press conference was jointly organized by the MWCA, NGCF,"Nari Moitri" and Save the Children (Sweden and Denmark) on October 14th;
- A roundtable on "What is our responsibility to prevent and protest against Eve Teasing" was held at the National Press Club on October 18th; and
- A debate competition on the "Law against Eve Teasing" was organized by Bangladesh Shishu Academy, NGCF and Debate for Democracy on October 20th.