(CU)_Over the recent years, Bangladesh has reported a striking progress across its economic, social and political spheres. To highlight a few of the many developments, the adult literacy rate in the country escalated to 75 per cent in 2019, from 21 per cent nearly 4 decades ago. Access to electricity in the South Asian nation also increased to 92 per cent this year, from 14 per cent in 1991. Another major achievement is the noteworthy decrease in its childhood mortality rate. Records show that fifty years ago, of every 1,000 children, 225 died before the age of five in Bangladesh. In 2019, this figure was brought down to 31.
Most of these major achievements in the South Asian nation were led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has vowed to ‘leave no one behind’ in her efforts towards sustainable and equitable development, advocating for gender equality, climate financing and vaccine equity. The 73-year-old leader, who took office in 2009, has been honoured by the international community for commitment towards the development in healthcare and education, social reform and her devotion towards gender equality.
Known as dynamic and visionary, PM Hasina is among the women leaders whose stewardship during the pandemic has been an inspiration. In 2020, her administration issued strict regulations to contain the spread of the virus. An early intervention of her government students transitioning to online learning, which was continued for a period of 18 months, after which they returned to school last week.
Amid the global health crisis, she initiated an expansion in Bangladesh’s social safety schemes to include 11 million people, while a total of $14.6 billion in stimulus packages were also disbursed during this period. A massive vaccination campaign has also been launched in the South Asian nation, as the Prime Minister announced a target of having 80 percent of the population vaccinated ‘no matter how much it costs’.
Therefore, it came as no surprise that Bangladesh was awarded by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network for its progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, under the leadership of PM Hasina, whose vision and ambition has been an inspiration to women leaders across the globe.