James Kon & Lyna Mohamad
The High Commission of Bangladesh in Brunei Darussalam hosted a virtual event to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 celebration yesterday.
Titled ‘Break the Bias’, the High Commission brought together a group of professionals from Bangladesh and the Sultanate to discuss online learning, leadership, digital literacy and mental health. It was moderated by Assistant Professor of Centre for Communication Teaching and Learning at Universiti Teknologi Brunei Dr Malai Zeiti binti Sheikh Abdul Hamid.
Legislative Council member and Brunei Youth Council President Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari was the guest of honour. Among the matters discussed were how innovation can work for gender equality, boost investment in gender-responsive social systems, and enhance public services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls. The speakers also drew on their experiences as they progressed through their career path.
An educator from Bangladesh, Professor Kishwar Kamal, spoke about the transformative power of education and how the damage from extended school closures caused by COVID-19 could be reversed.
Former Bruneian ambassador to Timore Leste Norazlianah binti Ibrahim touched on the resilience and preparedness that women in diplomatic careers need and the readiness to constantly learn in discharging duties. Data scientist and educationist Professor Dr Sharmin Parveen spoke about her journey through science and technology, how her research on health informatics became essential when COVID-19 hit Bangladesh.
Dr Jaya Priah Kasinathan from SEAMEO Voctech Brunei spoke about the challenges women face in the workplace and the need for strategies to curb them.
Acclaimed musician Simone Marietta Shannen Tsen from the Brunei Music Society talked about the need for music in education for children, while Professor Tamanna Rahman of Dhaka University’s Department of Dance shared her journey from architecture to Monipuri Dance form and the power of dance to transform people’s mindset to understand the need for gender equality.
Ambassador of Iran to Brunei Darussalam Homeira Rigi Zirouki spoke about the need for religious education to solidify the understanding of gender balance.
High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Brunei Darussalam Nahida Rahman Shumona said education is key to positive development of women and girls, citing the strong female leadership in Bangladesh by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which has transformed the country, progressing towards advancement within a decade.