International Women's Day 2018 at the British Council ©

British Council

Gender equality and empowering women and girls around the world is one of the major focus areas of the British Council. On this International Women’s Day we have celebrated an eventful day with a number of activities focusing on the theme #PressForProgress.

On 8 March 2018, day-long events were arranged for women and girls of all age groups. The day started with Quizard, an online quiz competition, where the participants had to answer questions related to prominent women activists such as Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain and Emmeline Pankhurst.

To raise awareness on violence against women, a short-film screening session on women's issues was arranged for the school-going boys and girls, where award-winning short films directed by children were showcased by the Children's Film Society Bangladesh. In addition to this, to ensure a gender-equal society, a workshop for adolescent girls and boys was arranged, where Samir Asran Rahman, the creator of Ms Shabash (a comic that was launched on International Women's Day in 2015 by Dhaka's Mighty Punch Studios) navigated the young minds to generate story ideas that encourage a gender-equal society.

To empower the next generation, a Living Library session was conducted in the garden area in the afternoon, where women from different walks of life were invited to hold conversations, aiming to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue, and to empower other females.

The day ended with a panel discussion arranged in the British Council Auditorium to discuss the continuing issue #TimesUp and #PressForProgress. Prominent women and human rights activists, such as Mahmuda Rahman Khan, USAID, Bangladesh and Taslima Akhter, activist and photographer took part in the session. As the panel members shared their experiences as professionals and discussed the status of women's education and employment, Taslima Yasmin, Assistant Professor of the Dhaka University Law Department, adds, “If the youth could unite and win a language and war in the past, then, the youth today can unite and win over the existing inequality in the society.”

Apart from all this, a week-long social media campaign was organised in relation with #IWD18. 

Highlighting the theme of #PressForProgress, the British Council successfully created awareness on women's right and honoured women's achievements. Through this initiative, we have stepped closer towards creating a better and equal Bangladesh, and thus implementing Sustainable Development Goal 5.