The Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network was launched in Bangladesh on 12 March 2016.
The Network was launched at an event attended by close to 30 women alumni coming from different fields. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion on Education, Women Leaders and Development. The Panel Members, which included Dr Meghna Guhathakurta (Executive Director of the Research Initiatives Bangladesh), Dr Nomita Halder (Private Secretary to the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh), Ms Sally-Anne Vincent (Deputy Head of Mission, Australian High Commission Dhaka), and Ms Hasne Ara Begum (Program Manager for Gender Justice & Diversity, BRAC), discussed the different forms of women leadership, the challenges that women leaders face, and the role of education in developing women leaders. Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh His Excellency Greg Wilcock also attended the event.
During the event the attendees also made a “Pledge for Parity” in line with the 2016 International Women’s Day celebration.
At present, there are 34 Bangladeshi women awardees studying in Australia, representing 47 per cent of the total number of awardees from Bangladesh. There are at least 545 Australia Awards women alumni, accounting for 45 per cent of total Australia Awards alumni from Bangladesh (N=1,215) registered in the Alumni Online Network. Women alumni in Bangladesh are making important development contributions in the fields of science, policing, engineering, public policy and management, teaching and community development, among others.