UN Women Executive Director praises Bangladesh for its generosity in embracing the Rohingya into the country and protecting the Rohingya women and girls' rights and dignity

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018

[For immediate release]

Dhaka, Bangladesh — UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka praised the Government of Bangladesh, as well as its people, for its generosity in welcoming the Rohingya despite its own priorities and its efforts to address needs of women and girls and protection of their rights and dignity during this world's worst humanitarian crisis, the press was informed today.

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks at press conference.
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks at press conference. Photo: UN Women/Shaikat Mojumder

The Executive Director ended her five-day visit today, in which she met with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, along with other dignitaries, civil society leaders, and visited the Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar, among others.

The Executive Director extended her appreciation to the Prime Minister for generously opening the border and sheltering the Rohingya refugees and agreed with the Prime Minister that the host communities impacted by the refugee influx need as much support as the refugees. The Executive Director stressed the need to prepare the refugee for the upcoming monsoon season and relocate the vulnerable households, many of them female-headed, to safer places away from the areas where landslide and flooding is being predicted. The Prime Minister and the Executive Director also discussed the numerous gender equality initiatives of the Prime Minister that has significantly improved the lives of women in Bangladesh, including the Prime Minister's latest initiative on women's skills development, including for women with disabilities.

Executive Director, during her visit at the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, met with a number of refugee women and girls. She visited the UN Women Multi-Purpose Women's Centre and the Women Friendly Space run by Action Aid where UN Women supports women's skills training, and spoke with women and young girls that were at the Centres. Both these "women-only" places provide a safe space for the most vulnerable, neglected and marginalized Rohingya women, especially single mothers and adolescent girls that have little opportunity to come out of their houses due to the strict gender norms and segregation imposed by cultural and religious practices.

On her first day of the visit, Executive Director was part of a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UN Women and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Bangladesh. The MoU accentuates the "aligned mutual interest" of the Commission and the strategic priorities of UN Women to end impunity for conflict-related sexual violence, through its work on peace, security and humanitarian action.

Media Inquiries:

Syeda Samara Mortada (English and Bangla)
Communications Analyst, UN Women Bangladesh
M: 0161 182 8015 | Email: syeda.mortada@unwomen.org

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United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) works to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, to empower women, and to achieve equality between women and men.