Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has received the 'Planet 50-50 Champion' and Agent of Change Award' for her outstanding contributions to women empowerment.
The UN-Women recognised the Prime Minister as 'Planet 50-50 Champion', while Global Partnership Forum handed over the 'Agent of Change Award' to her at a high-profile reception at the UN Plaza of the UN Headquarters on Wednesday evening.
President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and First Lady of the United Nations Ban Soon-taek were also given 'Planet 50-50 Champion' and 'Agent of Change Award' along with the Bangladesh Prime Minister.
UN Women Deputy Executive Director Laksmi Puri delivered the welcome address and read out citations of the awardees.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Global Partnerships Forum President and CEO Amir Dossal made the closing remarks.
Accepting the award, Sheikh Hasina said, "I feel humbled by these recognitions ... I thank the UN-Women and Global Partnership Forum for giving me this honour."
The Prime Minister said this is a recognition for the women of Bangladesh as the true agents of change. "This is a recognition for our men working in equal partnership with our women ... I dedicate these awards to the people of Bangladesh for having faith in my vision for change."
Sheikh Hasina recalled the memory of her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for raising her with that vision.
She said, "I believe sustainable future of our planet is a shared responsibility of our women and men. We've arrived at a time in our history when gender equality is no longer an aspiration, but a real possibility everywhere."
Hasina said that the path to women's empowerment has not been easy, and would not always be smooth either. "But, we must move ahead with courage and determination."
She said the cross-cutting gender agenda in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will give impetus to our efforts. "I dream of a world where women's rights will be respected by all, where all forms of violence and discriminations against women will be things of the past."
The Prime Minister also extended her gratefulness to the country's women and men for giving solid proof of Bangladesh's commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"On their behalf, I reaffirm our pledge to implement the SDGs, with gender equality at the core," she said.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc, PM's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Dr Dipu Moni and Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M Ziauddin were also present.