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Hasina says people will surely support motherly leadership like hers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said if any female leader governs a country with a motherly affection like her, people will surely extend their support to her, reports UNB.

“Women aren’t only women, but also mothers. If you run a country with a motherly affection, people will definitely support you,” she said.

The Prime Minister made the remark while replying to a question at a high-level power panel titled “Redefining the Future for Women” held at the Women’s Pavilion in the Dubai Expo 2020 arranged marking the International Women’s Day.

Hasina said she has won the support and trust of people in governing the country and that is her main strength. “People have realised that if I’m there, they’ll surely be benefited,” she said.

But this journey was not that much easy, she said, adding that her entire family, including her father, mother, three brothers and two sister in-laws, was assassinated in Bangladesh, and it was only she and her younger sister survived the carnage.

Hasina recalled that when she returned home after the assassination, the killers of her family and war criminals were in power. “So, my journey was not very smooth.”

The PM said she faced assassination attempts again and again, and smear campaign. “But I didn’t care about it. I thought I would have to work for people.”

Hasina appreciated her male colleagues for cooperating with her in politics and government. “I must appreciate them. They cooperated with me,” she added.

Talking about a unique situation in Bangladesh Parliament with regard to women empowerment, the Prime Minister said now the Speaker, the Leader of the House, the Leader of Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the House are women.

Mentioning that the military dictators had ruled the government for about 21 years after the assassination of her family members, Hasina said when she formed the government in 1996 she found women nowhere.

Then she took some initiatives for the development and empowerment of women, including ensuring free education up to graduation level, and tried to create job opportunities for them in the higher posts like the judiciary, police and other sectors.

Noting that women had little space during the military regimes, she said, “I opened up everything for women.”

Describing the Father of the Nation as her mentor, the PM said she learned about the country and its problems from him. “I came to knew about the country and the problems properly from him. I learned from my father –my father was my mentor. Not only that, I also learned (from him) about compassion and love for people and country as well as how to work for the poor,” she said.

UAE President’s Diplomatic Adviser Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE State Minister for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimi, UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem, WTO Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and President and CEO of Cartier International Cyrille Vigneron also spoke at the panel.

Later, the Prime Minister visited Bangladesh Pavilion and UAE Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the Dubai Exhibition Centre.

Hasina on Monday arrived here on a five-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates at the invitation of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makdoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai.