Bangladesh is often portrayed as a place where women are victimised and subordinated by Islam. Fundamentalist outrage against writer Tasleema Nasreen has reinforced this image. But Bangladesh also has a very vibrant and strong women's movement.
Rahima is a Muslim organization that advocates women's equality based on modern and democratic ideas. Instead of traveling from conference to conference, Rahima members prefer to work at the grassroots level.
The award focuses on women activists, journalists, and artists (individuals or groups) who work at the grassroots level with socially marginalized peoples in order to create a 21st century free from war and discrimination against women.
As women who have always been committed to the principles of non-discrimination and of equality, we have noted with grave concern, the controversy around women working in non-governmental sector in the Eastern province.
At this year's CSW, WEDO and the other groups expressed their disappointment and outrage that gender equality and strengthening the women's machineries within the U.N. system are still not being addressed as a central part of the U.N. reform agenda.