Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has laid emphasis on making a good case of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a gender-responsive manner to live up to the pledge to 'leave no one behind'.
"The idea of 'making every woman and girl count' reflects my own thoughts on women's empowerment and gender equality. As we pledge to leave no one behind, we must make a good case of implementing the SDGs in a gender-responsive manner," she said.
Sheikh Hasina was delivering her statement at the launching event of 'Making Every Woman and Girl Count' organised by the government of Australia, UNN-Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UN Foundation/Data2x at the UN Headquarters here on Wednesday.
In Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said, the performance of her government with gender-related MDGs has been widely recognised as the number of women below poverty and without assets has gone down sharply. "We've attained gender parity in primary and secondary school enrollment. Maternal mortality has dropped considerably to 1.7 per thousand live births. Our social safety net programmes give a wide coverage to old, widowed, women with disability, lactating and destitute women."
She said her government is committed to keeping up the momentum, and going further beyond adding that the National Women Development Policy gives a sound blueprint for action. "In order to track progress with its implementation, we've taken a host of monitoring and evaluation measures."
Every year, Hasina said, her government presents a gender responsive budget in Parliament along with the national budget. In the current fiscal year, she said, 40 ministries reported on their works on women's advancements. Allocation for women in the same fiscal is more than 27 per cent when compared to total budget, and nearly 5 per cent when compared to GDP.
"We recognise that quality and up-to-date gender data will be critical for this work. A sound database can help us understand the gains and gaps in our efforts to reach all our women and girls," she added.
Hasina went on saying, "It should also tell us how our men and boys can be made partners in those efforts. It's important that our planning, budgeting, monitoring and auditing institutions are equipped with the cost-effective tools to generate and process gender-sensitive data."
Noting that the public-private initiative which was launched here today sounds promising, she said, "This practical, action-oriented work can perhaps add another feather to our excellent cooperation with UN-Women and other partners."
PM's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were, among others, present.