Bangladesh has been nominated as a founding member of the 8-member Steering Committee of the US-led Equal Futures Partnership (EFP). Bangladesh has also been made Chair of the EFP Asia Pacific Regional Sub-Committee.
These decisions were taken at a meeting held here among the EFP members from the Asia and Pacific region, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and New Zealand.
EFP is a multilateral initiative launched by the US Department of State following the announcement made by US President Barack Obama during the 67th UN General Assembly in 2012.
EFP’s main objective is to promote gender equality in political and economic spheres, and bring together countries that have shown leadership in this regard. Currently, EFP has 26 members representing all geographic regions and includes UN-Women and World Bank as advisory partners.
Bangladesh’s inclusion in the EFP Steering Committee is yet another international recognition of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s personal commitment to women’s empowerment, and the advancements made by the country in reducing gender gaps in critical areas of political and economic engagements.
Within EFP, Bangladesh has committed to work towards implementing the forward-looking National Women’s Development Policy (2011) with focus on enhancing women’s participation in the national workforce and combating violence against women.
The final composition of the Steering Committee is expected to be announced on the sideline of the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015 in New York.
The US will be Chairing the EFP Steering Committee in 2015.