Ferdous Ara Begum


Space Lake Castle Apartments, House # 49, Road # 15A, Apt. F3
Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
Tel: [+ 880 2] 912 2300 [R], [+88] 01715044863 (Mobile)
Email: ferdousarabegum@yahoo.com
Web site : www.ferdous.info

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Speech at UN














Ferdous Ara Begum

NATIONALITY: Bangladeshi


Space Lake Castle Apartments, House # 49, Road # 15A, Apt. F3
Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
Tel: [+ 880 2] 912 2300 [R], [+88] 01715044863 (Mobile)
Email: ferdousarabegum@yahoo.com
Web site : www.ferdous.info


Gender Issues Specialist


(Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women )

Chair of the Working Group of the General Recommendation on the   ‘Older Women and Protection of their Human Rights’ of the CEDAW Committee. (The CEDAW Committee adopted the General Recommendation in October, 2010)

Member, Board of Directors, Grameen Bank
Expert Consultant on Gender Issues, UNFPA
Director General, Bangladesh Television
Additional Secretary, Ministry of Establishment
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of Bangladesh
Director General, Department of Women Affairs
Commissioner of Taxes, National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh


Master in Public Administration
Mason Fellow. Class of 1983.
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
United States of America

Certificate Course in Development Administration
Parvin Fellow. Nine-month certificate course. Class of 1980.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
United States of America

Master in Economics
University of Dhaka. Class of 1970.

Bachelor (Honors) in Economics
University of Dhaka. Class of 1969.

Certificate Course on Gender, Development and Participatory Governance
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT) [Royal Tropical Institute]. Class of 2004.
The Netherlands


Member, UN CEDAW Committee
• To monitor the implementation of the convention by the state parties
• Consider the reports both initial and periodic of sate parties through a constructive dialogue with the representatives of the state parties
• To formulate general recommendations on specific articles of the convention or issues covered by the convention.
• To prepare statements on various issues
• To exchange information with other human rights treaty bodies in harmonizing working methods and on issues of common interest and concern
• To make substantive contributions to the commission on the status of women and to world conferences and summits.

July 2002 – Present: Member, Board of Directors Grameen Bank, Bangladesh
• Advice on policies, directions and strategies on micro-credit and other issues
• Advocate for empowering women through access to financial services
• Promote various women entrepreneurs

October 2005 – June 2006 : Expert Consultant on Gender Issues United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
• Liaise with the government officials of various ministries, including the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Department of Women Affairs
• Coordinate and facilitate training and capacity building under the Advocacy to End Gender Based Violence project
• Facilitate various workshops, seminars and other programs to promote awareness against Dowry and dowry related violence against women
• Facilitate the dissemination of UNFPA supported research reports and findings on gender issues, reproductive rights, among other topics
• Create and facilitate training modules and programs to promote gender awareness and dowry related issues
• Enable incorporation of Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights into government policies, strategies and public statements
• Incorporate rights based approach in district planning of safe motherhood project with UNICEF
• Network, coordinate and liaise with other UN agencies

March 2005 – August 2005: Director General Bangladesh Television (BTV), Government of Bangladesh
• First woman Director General of Bangladesh Television
• Improved the image of BTV through program modernization, people and development focused news and programs
• Increased broadcast of culturally relevant and popular programs, drama serials and movies
• Improved synergy through agreements with other agencies and educational institutions, such as the Open University for increased educational outreach
• Modernized news presentations with computerization, improved graphics, better reporting and editing
• Highlighted successes of Bangladesh through specific programs focusing on human, social, cultural, economic and industrial development
• Specific focus on women’s empowerment through various means, including microcredit, awareness of HIV/AIDS, trafficking and migration issues
• Promoted modern progressive children focused and educational programs, such as Sisimpur, the Bangla version of Sesame Street
• Created awareness on Child-Rights-Convention (CRC) through programs highlighting the plight of street children, as well as broadcasting programs on various children and adolescent girls related issues, empowerment of adolescent girls, combating trafficking and effect of HIV/AIDS on children

October 2004– March 2005: Additional Secretary Establishment Ministry, Government of Bangladesh
• Promoted to Additional Secretary and assigned to the Establishment Ministry

April 2002 – October 2004: Joint Secretary (Development and Planning) Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of Bangladesh
•  Formulate and implement policies regarding gender issues
• Mainstreaming gender issues into the policy, program and project proposals of different ministries, departments, NGOs and in the grassroots level, and administering these through the Women in Development (WID) mechanism institutionalized in the National Action Plan developed from the Beijing PFA
• Ensure equality and equity of women as guaranteed by the constitution
• Ensure women's interests and rights in the family and social conflict resolution, conflict management and prevention
• Reducing violence against women: domestic violence, dowry related crime, acid throwing, and combating human trafficking
• Empowering of women through implementation of gender focused PRSP
• Promote micro entrepreneurship through national and global market
• Capacity building through life skill training program for poor women
• Protecting the legal, economic and social rights of disadvantaged, abandoned and homeless children and women
• Creating safe-houses and shelters for abandoned children and women
• Develop gender-based curriculum, gender tools and gender sensitive training programs to create gender governance, gender sensitive media and gender sensitive justice system in the country
• Monitor, co-ordinate and oversee the implementation status of the National Policy for Women's advancement and the National Action Plan for implementation of Beijing Platform for Action approved by the Government, which aimed at to ensure the balanced and sustainable development and protection of rights gender equality and equal opportunity for women and adolescent girls.
• Oversee 34 gender specific projects deigned to create a social and legal protection for women and Children. These projects include:
Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) program for empowerment and life skill building for the poorest women funded by WFP
Multi-sectoral program to prevent violence against women that aims to provide legal and medical help, psychosocial counseling, burn treatment, DNA Lab facilities and Hot Line Services for the victims
Combating human trafficking, including action programs to combat cross border and domestic trafficking
Intercept, rescue and rehabilitate human traffic survivors
Prevention, psychosocial counseling and research base line data
Creating national broad based awareness program against trafficking
• Promote engendering of PRSP and budgets
• Oversee implementation of CEDAW and CRC
• Encourage creating gender friendly institutions and infrastructure
• Encourage introduction of gender equity and equality issues in the planning process through PP, PCP TAPP PPTA of different Ministries and NGOs

December 1999 – April 2002: Commissioner of Taxes (Zone 6) National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh
• First woman Tax Commissioner in Bangladesh
• Introduced tax on foreign wage earners working in Bangladesh through the application of section 107
• Popularized spot assessment so that small tax payers are able to pay tax without hassle
• Wrote several articles on spot assessment, normal assessment and self assessment
• Oversaw a department of approximately 245 staff including 35 senior and junior officers from 22 Circles
• Oversaw revenue collection in part of Dhaka City and three other districts
• Oversaw revenue collections from 65,000 different entities including foreign banks, corporations and individuals
• Oversaw collection of 2,100 million Taka in revenue in fiscal year 1999 -2000
• Set and met revenue generation goals that were 30% higher than previous fiscal year
• Advised the government of various tax policies
• Implemented government tax policies
• Oversaw and approve departmental personnel and administrative matters
• Rendered decisions on cases filed for revision

July 1999– December 1999 : Commissioner of Taxes (Central Survey Zone) National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

September 1997 – July 1999: Inspecting Additional Commissioner of Taxes (Zone 1) National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

April 1994 – September 1997: Additional Commissioner of Taxes Appellate Division, Zone 3, Ranges 1 and 2 National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

September 1990 – April 1994: Joint Commissioner of Taxes Appellate Division, Zone 1, Range 4 National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

January 1989 – September 1990: Second Secretary National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

September 1981 – January 1989: Deputy Commissioner of Taxes National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh

February 1977 – September 1981: Assistant Commissioner of Taxes National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh
• Joined Bangladesh Government as a First Class Officer after qualifying in the top 5% in the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) Exam
• Duties spanned over various tax offices and jurisdictions
• Assessed annual taxes for professionals, salaried persons and businesses
• Collected revenues from the said three categories of tax payers

January 1973 – January 1977: Assistant Editor Daily Janapad, (Bengali daily newspaper), Dhaka, Bangladesh
• Wrote editorial and post editorials for the news paper
• Wrote various feature articles and short fictions

January 1972– January 1973: Lecturer of Economics Tejgaon Women’s College, Dhaka, Bangladesh
• Prepared lecture notes
• Taught three courses of introductory economics


April 2004 Member Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) on Migration, Mobility and HIV/AIDS

April 2003 Co-Chair, UNAIDS Sub-group
• Meet with other advisors, researchers, field workers and strategists to review progress, status report and plan and propose future courses of actions

May 2002 Advisor Acid Survivors Foundation, Bangladesh
• Advice on policies and educational campaigns

January 2004 Study Tour of Sweden, France and Norway at the invitation of the Swedish Government
• Meeting with the Commissioner for Children, Children’s Ombudsman, Gender Ombudsman and other high officials of the various ministries

August 2003 Certificate for participation in the International Conference on Advocacy Role of Elected Representatives in Prevention of HIV/AIDS, in New Delhi, India

February 2003 Certificate for participation in the International Seminar on Engendering Democracy at Queen’s University at Belfast, organized by the British Council

June 2000 Member of Bangladesh Delegation Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century”

• Participated in the policy negotiation in “Women and Economy” sessions
• Represented the progressive views of the Government of Bangladesh in the sessions

July 1983 Developmental Aid Trainee DANIDA, Copenhagen, Denmark


September 19-25 2006 Public Broadcasters International Conference, 2006, Mozambique

July 10-16 2006 Global Consultation on HIV and sex work, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

21-23 February 2006 Regional Conference on the Development of a Conceptual Framework and Strategies to Combat Trafficking, Islamabad, Pakistan

October 2005 Public Broadcasters International Conference, 2005, Norway.

September 2005 Conference on Violence Against Women, Pakistan

May 2005 Asia Media Summit, Malaysia.

March 2005 United Nations Global Review on Beijing Plus Ten, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA. Funded by UNIFEM.

November 2004 The International Seminar on “Second meeting of the South Asia Regional Co-ordination Mechanism (RCM),” New Delhi, India. Funded by UNDP.

September 2004 “Regional Ministerial Consultation on Maternal and Child Nutrition in Asian Countries Mainstreaming food and nutrition interventions in poverty reduction strategies,” New Delhi, India.

September 2004 “High Level Inter-governmental Meeting to Review Regional Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action,” Bangkok, Thailand. Funded by UNICEF.

July 2004 5th Periodic report on CEDAW during the 31st session of the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), United Nations, New York, USA. Funded by UNFPA.

March 2004 Conference organized by UNDP Regional HIV and Development Program (REACH) and UNAIDS Inter Country Team, Islamabad, Pakistan. Funded by UNDP and UNAIDS.

March 2004 The International Seminar on “South Asia Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM),” New Delhi, India. Funded by UNDP.

September 2003 “Convention on the Rights of the Child Consultative Committee Meeting on the Second Periodic Report of Bangladesh,” Geneva, Switzerland. Funded by UNICEF.

August 2003 “International Conference of South Asian Parliamentarians (SAARC) for Advocacy Role of Elected Representatives in Prevention of HIV/AIDS,” New Delhi, India. Funded by UNICEF

July 2003 The Contract Negotiations for the “Project Social Protection for the Poor Especially Disadvantaged Women and Children,” Manila, Philippines. Funded by ADB.

March 2003 The Global Summit on Women on “The Development of Micro Entrepreneurship and Micro Credit,” Morocco.

January 2003 INE Seminar on “Engendering Democracy” organized by the British Council Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Funded by The British Council.

November 2002 “Conference on the Human Rights Challenges of Globalization in Asia Pacific US: The Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children,” Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Funded by ADB.

October 2002 “International Congress on Child Migration,” New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Funded by UNICEF.

October 2002 The International Seminar on “Consultative Meeting on Trafficking in Women and Children,” Bratislava, Slovakia. Funded by UNFPA.

September 2002 The International Seminar on “Regional Conference facilitates the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,” Sri Lanka. Funded by UNIFEM.

September 2002 The International Seminar on “Responses to Trafficking in the South Asia Region,” Katmandu, Nepal. Funded by UNDP.

August 2002 The international Seminar on “Strengthening HIV/AIDS Activities in Sectoral Plans: Study Tour,” Thailand. Funded by UNFPA.

May 2002 Regional Workshop on “Integrated Socio-Economic Approach Towards Combating Trafficking,” Manila, Philippines. Funded by ADB.

May 2002 The International Seminar on “Regional Technical assistance (RETA) 5948: Combating Trafficking of Women and Children in South Asia,” Bangkok, Thailand. Funded by ADB.


December 2005 Keynote speaker at the workshop: “Dowry in Bangladesh: Social Mobilization Policy and Programs,” organized by UNFPA and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.

March 2005 Chaired the International Conference on Trafficking of Women and Children in South Asia, organized by IOM.

December 2004 Keynote speaker at a seminar on Dowry and Violence Against Women, organized by Shilpo Bank, Bangladesh.

January 2004 Chaired the Business Session of “Gender and Development in GOB-ADB Project,” organized by ADB.

December 2003 Chaired the Working Session on “Living with Acid,” organized by the Acid Survivors Foundation.

December 2003 Presented the Keynote address at the “Women and Violence” seminar, organized by Quest Ltd. and the United Nations Foundation.

September 2003 Chief Guest and Chairwoman of the Inaugural Session on “Psychosocial Intervention Primary Skill Training,” organized by ATSEC Bangladesh Chapter and UDDIPOAN, an NGO.

August 2003 Chaired the Working Session on “Combating Trafficking: Challenges and Strategies,” organized by Centre for Women and Children Studies (CWCS).

July 2003 Chaired the Inaugural Session of Round Table Meeting on “Women in the Media,” organized by National Mass Media Institute.

June 2003 Participated as a resource person on “Combating Human Trafficking and Regional Initiatives” arranged by USAID and ATSEC Bangladesh.

June 2003 Special Guest at the “Anti-Trafficking Video Film Festival,” organized by ATSEC Bangladesh and The American Center.

May 2003 Chaired as the Chief Guest the “Selection of Dhaka Children Congress 2003,” organized by Resource Bangladesh, an NGO.

May 2003 Special Guest Speaker at the “International Migration and Development” seminar organized by International Organization for Migration (IOM).

September 2002 Delivered a lecture on “Women's Development in Bangladesh and Gender Issues” at the National Defense Academy.

September 2002 Delivered a lecture titled “Micro and Macro Analysis of Trafficking in Person and Counter Trafficking Framework in Bangladesh” at the Rajshahi University.

August 2002 Delivered a lecture on “National Policy and National Plan of Action for Women and its Implementation Status” at the Bangladesh Civil Service Training Academy.

July 2002 Special Guest at the global launch ceremony of “Managing Migration: Challenges and Responses for people on the Move” at the national Press Club, Dhaka.

June 2002 Presented the keynote paper on “National Consultative Workshop for the Formulation of a Social Policy on Models of Care and Protection of Children in Contact with the Law” at the CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka.

May 2002 Participated as resource person at the Round Table Discussion on “Human Rights and Inhuman Wrongs: State Policies and Trafficking,” organized by UNDP.


Dowry, A Social Crime
Published by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, 2004

National Policy Documents:

The Counter Trafficking Framework Report: Bangladesh Perspective Supervising Editor and Chairman of the CPCCT Review Team Published by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, 2004

Report of the PRSP Thematic Group On women’s Advancement and Rights Government Policy Guideline on Gender and Children Perspective in PRSP Supervising Editor and Chairman of Policy Development Team Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, 2004


Combating Trafficking: Commitment, Policies and Programs of Bangladesh Government
Published in the Journal:
Orderly and Humane Migration. An Emerging Development Paradigm.
Edited by: P. K. Mitra, J. Hossain
Institute of Bangladesh Studies, University of Rajshahi, 2004

Combating Trafficking of Women and Chidlren: Bangladesh Perspective Developing Partnership for a Better Future
Presented at the Asian Development Bank Regional Workshop, 2002


Combating Trafficking of Women and Children in South Asia Regional Synthesis Paper for Bangladesh, India, and Nepal Government Focal Point for the Regional Technical Assistance (RETA) Team Asian Development Bank, 2002


• A Government Official Champions HIV Prevention in Bangladesh

• Remarks at the Anti-Trafficking Video Film Festival

• Ferdous Ara Begum Attends UN Conference
Interview with Voice of America at the UN Beijing Plus Ten Conference

• Ferdous Ara First Woman DG of BTV

• Confrontational Politics Offsets Development: Joint WB, ADB, DFID, Japan Strategy to Support PRSP

• Combating Child Trafficking


• Received cash reward from National Board of Revenue for outstanding contribution in the Tax collection.
• Jagadish Bose Gold Medal
• Gold Medal in Essay Writing
• Shining Personality Award for Excellence in Public Administration, by Women’s Voice Foundation
• USAID Award in recognition of service promoting GO-NGO Cooperation


My most cherished goal in life is to contribute significantly towards eliminating all forms of discriminations against women. I propose the "FAR Sight" approach, so that gender-equality and non-discriminatory social systems could be established and state-obligation towards these ends could be ensured.

FAR stands for Freedom, Access and Rights. If you put these key elements or milestones: Rights, Access and Freedom, in order of priority in an achievement pyramid, with the bottom being most basic Rights, and then above it ensuring the enforcement of the legislated rights and universal Access to all opportunities for women; only then can we reach our ultimate goal of having all women Free from discrimination and oppression. This pyramid spells F - A - R from the top. I call it a FAR Sight.

We need to ensure right-based approach and affirmative action as well as access to all services and opportunities for women. We need to ensure ultimate freedom of action and opinion for ending all kinds of discriminations against women. We need to sensitize the mass media to achieve this goal. Besides, monitoring mechanisms and indicators should be put in place for results-based implementation of CEDAW, Beijing PFA and concluding observations in all member-countries. Establishment of Gender Ombudsman as a part of CEDAW implementation mechanism could be the right strategy to achieve this goal. My mission and vision is to make tangible progress towards ending all kinds of discrimination against women.


Elected Vice Chair Person, 2003-2005
Officers’ Club, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Active Member
American Alumnae Association, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Active Member
United Nations Delegation Women’s Club, New York
1992 – 1996

Organized various events sponsored by the United Nations Delegate’s Hospitality Committee
1992 – 1996

Actively participated at various programs of UN Delegate’s Hospitality Committee while living in New York, USA, from 1992 to 1996, with my husband, who was the then First Secretary (Press) in the Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations
• Organized a seminar titled: “Bangladesh Today and Tomorrow”
• Organized a seminar titled: “Bangladesh: The Country and the People”
• Organized various slide shows promoting Bangladeshi culture

Member, New York Harvard Club 1992 – 1996

Elected Vice Chair, Students’ Union, Eden Girls’ College, Dhaka, 1968


Have traveled to the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mozambique and United States of America


Writing on social issues, short stories, reading, traveling.


Date of Birth: August 11, 1948
In Government Service Since: February 18, 1977
Bangladesh citizen, Married, Mother of two sons



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