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Breaking barriers; building bridges

DIG Amena works to empower women

Published : 08 Mar 2024 01:14 AM | Updated : 08 Mar 2024 01:20 AM

In a country where traditional gender roles often dictate societal norms, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Amena Begam stands as a beacon of optimism, breaking barriers and paving the way for women's empowerment in Bangladesh. From her beginning as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1999 to her current role as Deputy Inspector General, Amena's journey is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to service.

Under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's innovative leadership, Bangladesh emerges as an inspiration of hope in a world where gender disparity remains an obstacle to progress. 

Emphasizing women's empowerment and the establishment of a gender discrimination-free society, Prime Minister Hasina's government aligns its policies with international frameworks, including the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

Notably, SDG Article 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, while SDG Article 16 focuses on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. These efforts are reinforced by Bangladesh's Constitution, particularly Articles 28(1) and 28(2), which uphold the rights of all citizens and mandate equal opportunities for women in all spheres of public life.

Amena's dream of joining the police force was sparked by the sight of a female assistant commissioner during her student days. 

Inspired by this, she has shattered glass ceilings at every turn, rising through the ranks and challenging gender norms within the Bangladesh Police.

From her early days as an assistant superintendent of police in Cumilla District to her current role as Deputy Inspector General, She has proven herself to be a capable and dedicated leader. Her journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of breaking down barriers to women's advancement in male-dominated fields.

One of Amena's most significant contributions to the Bangladesh Police is her pioneering work in gender-responsive policing. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by women in law enforcement and society at large, she has championed initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality. 

Under Amena 's leadership, the Bangladesh Police Women Network has implemented training programs and established specialized desks to better serve women, children, the elderly, and disabled individuals. Through her Gender Responsive Policing Module, over 62 thousand policemen have been trained, fostering gender parity and awareness within the force.

Amena's vision extends beyond the confines of Bangladesh, as she actively participates in international forums and exchange programs to share best practices in policing. As the Asia Region Coordinator of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP), she has led initiatives to empower female officers across the region. Her participation in the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in East Timor, a UN peacekeeping mission, further exemplifies her commitment to global peace and security.

Amena Begam's impact transcends borders, earning her recognition on the global stage. As the Asia Region Coordinator of the International Association of Women Police, she has led initiatives to empower female officers across the region. Her participation in exchange programs in the United States, Europe, and beyond has facilitated the exchange of policing practices and promoted international cooperation in combating crime.

In 2006, Amena Begam made history as the only female officer on a 140-member peacekeeping mission in East Timor, further cementing her reputation as a trailblazer in law enforcement. Her dedication to service and commitment to excellence have earned her numerous accolades, including the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship and the BASIS Luna Shamsuddoha Award.

Amena Begam's tireless efforts to promote women's empowerment have not gone unnoticed. In 2015, she was awarded the highest police medal, the Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM)-Seba, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the force. She has also received the IG Good Service Medal and the BASIS Luna Shamsuddoha Award for her exemplary leadership and dedication to advancing women in law enforcement and beyond.

In a society where women continue to face barriers to equal participation, Deputy Inspector General Amena Begam stands as a shining example of what is possible with determination, perseverance, and a commitment to service. Her unwavering dedication to building a more inclusive and gender-responsive police force serves as an inspiration to women everywhere, proving that with courage and conviction, anything is possible.