BHOLA, Bangladesh, Jul 9 2016 (IPS) - Four years ago, Farzana Aktar Ruma, now 18, was almost married off without her consent.

Her parents had settled on someone they considered a reasonably wealthy young man with a good family background, and did not want to miss the opportunity to wed their eldest daughter.

Since the 1990s, when democracy was reinstated,  Bangladesh has been able to make some extraordinary achievements.  The poverty rate was 57 percent in 1991 and was reduced to 31.5 percent in 2010, enrolment in primary education reached 98 per cent and girls slightly outnumber boys in schools. But budget allocations to health and social security are far from enough, corruption and illicit financial flows divert resources and climate change is set to produce more physical damage in Bangladesh by 2025 than in any other country. Rising sea levels, severe storms and other extreme climate-related events are going to produce millions of "climate refugees" in a country that has not contributed to generate this phenomenon and is not receiving compensation for enormous loss and damages.

Despite enormous geopolitical, political and socio-economic problems Bangladesh has been able to make some extraordinary achievements during the last couple of decades. Since the 1990s, when democracy was reinstated and some major economic reforms were made, the economy of Bangladesh has been experiencing impressive growth, and the country has been able to ensure praiseworthy progress in in education, health and gender equity. But climate change, political instability and turmoil have foiled many achievements. Only political commitments, political will and also good governance can ensure that Bangladesh will be successful in achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Photo: equitybd.

In a panel discussion held in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity Mr. Roberto Bissio, the Coordinator of Social Watch, a global civil society alliance working in more than hundred countries, said that the enforcement for human rights and addressing inequalities should be the main concern in setting post 2015 development agenda.

The panel discussion titled “Post 2015 Development Agenda: Future Global Development Partnership” organized by EquityBD, Social Watch Bangladesh and Unnayan Samunnay. The panel discussion is moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD and other speakers of the session are Ahmed Swapan of VOICE, Aminur Rasul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Prodip K Roy of Online Knowledge Society, Dr Sohel Iqbal, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF) and Barkat Ullah Maruf of EquityBD.

Photo. EquityBD.

Right based civil society networks in cooperation with different students’ cultural organizations of Dhaka University organize a seminar at the Nowab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building and a photo exhibition at the Teacher Student Centre (TSC) in Dhaka University. The vice chancellor of the university Mr. A A M S Arefin Siddique inaugurates the photo exhibition.

Speakers demanded debt
cancellation and democratic space
for LDCs. (Photo: SW Bangladesh).

[Dhaka, Tuesday, 4 June 2013] Civil society right groups network EquityBD and VOICE in a press conference held at the city’s national press club criticized United Nation High Level Panel (UN HLP)  report on post 2015 agenda terming it “as lofty goal and empty bowl” and said that the report is in fact a far short in transforming economies. The UN HLP report has just published on 30th June 2013 in New York. The UN HLP was co chaired by UK Prime minister Davide Cameron, Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang and Liberian President Alen Johnson Sirlef. Moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, chief coordinator of Equitybd, the position paper was read out by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice.

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