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

   Home                   Profile at a glance                  Profile in details                   Additional                     Gallery                     Articles

Profile at a glance
Profile in details
Speech at  UN











- Gender Issues Specialist


- 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
- Honorary Advisor on Trafficking, IOM
- 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


- MPA, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA
- BA (Honors) and MA in Economics, Dhaka University, Bangladesh
- Certificate Course on Development Administration, 

Princeton University, USA

- Certificate Course on Gender Issues and Participatory Governance, KIT, The Netherlands


- Ford Foundation Scholarship, Parvin Fellow, Princeton University, USA, 1979
- USAID Scholarship, Mason Fellow, Harvard University, USA, 1982
- DANIDA Scholarship for Development Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1983
- Dutch Government Scholarship for Gender Studies at KIT, The Netherlands, 2004


- First woman to lead Bangladesh Television (BTV) as Director General, 2005
- First woman Commissioner of Taxes Bangladesh, 1999
- First woman elected Vice Chairperson, Officers' Club, Dhaka, 2003
- EngenderHealth notes as a Champion of HIV Prevention Awareness


- Dowry, A Social Crime. Author, 2004
- The Counter Trafficking Framework Report: Bangladesh Perspective. Supervising Editor, 2004
- Combating Trafficking: Commitment, Policies and Programs of Bangladesh Government. Published in the journal: Orderly and Humane Migration: An Emerging Development Paradigm. Author, 2004


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 Ombudsperson as a part of CEDAW implementation mechanism could be the right strategy to achieve this goal. My mission and vision is to participate in this global process under the UN umbrella in order to make tangible progress towards ending all kinds of discrimination against women.

On this platform of FAR Sight, I am running as Bangladesh's candidate for the CEDAW Committee membership.


February 2006:Regional Conference on Combating Trafficking, Pakistan.

October 2005:Public Broadcasters International Conference, Norway.

September 2005:Conference on Violence Against Women, Pakistan

March 2005:United Nations Global Review on Beijing Plus Ten, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

September 2004:"Regional 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.

July 2004:5th Periodic report on CEDAW during the 31st session of the UN Division for the Advancement of Women, United Nations, New York, USA.
January 2004:Study Tour of Sweden, France and Norway to meet the Child and Gender Ombudsman.

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

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.

October 2002:"International Congress on Child Migration," New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

October 2002:International Seminar on "Consultative Meeting on Trafficking in Women and Children," Bratislava, Slovakia.

September 2002:International Seminar on "Regional Conference facilitates the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," Sri Lanka.

August 2002:International Seminar on "Strengthening HIV/AIDS Activities in Sectoral Plans: Study Tour," Thailand.

June 2000:Special Session of UN on "Women 2000: Gender Euqality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century, New York.



In my over 32 years of public service, I have been active in educating and creating public awareness on importance of women's rights and actively influenced women's financial independence.

As a Board Member of Grameen Bank, the organization that pioneered microcredit by providing microfinancial services to rural poor women, I have had a direct influential role in creating opportunities for the rural poor women in Bangladesh.

I helped mainstream women's and child rights issues in government policies, awareness for HIV/AIDS and reproductive rights. I have taken initiatives to engage NGOs as a partner for program implementation. While working at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, one of my important responsibilities was to oversee 34 gender specific projects that were designed to provide social and legal protection for women and children.

As Chairperson of the Government and Civil Society Committee at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, I had taken various initiatives for GO-NGO collaborations, so that NGOs and civil society can contribute to shape government policies and programs. I have also taken initiatives for the dissemination of the concept of CEDAW, Beijing PFA and MDG at the grassroots level. I have worked for the strengthening of WID focal point mechanism to bridge the gap between policy and implementation.

I have taken the lead role in the preparation of 5th Periodic Report of Bangladesh and played an important role in the review of implementation status of the report at CEDAW Committee meeting during the 31st session. I also participated at the 2002 regional conference in Sri Lanka to facilitate the implementation of CEDAW. I worked as a member of the Drafting Committee of High Level Inter Governmental Meeting to Review Regional Implementation of Beijing PFA in Thailand, 2004, and participated in the interactive meeting at the UN Global Review on Beijing+10 in 2005 in New York.

As Director General of BTV, I promoted programs that emphasized gender equality, women's empowerment, awareness of HIV/AIDS, trafficking and migration issues, as well as increasing broadcast hours for educational programs.


Bangladesh has been a steadfast supporter of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Bangladesh ratified CEDAW in 1984. We were one of the first ten countries in the world to sign optional protocol of CEDAW enabling the protocol to enter into force.

Bangladesh is also committed to women's advancement and ensuring their rights. Bangladesh received global appreciation for attaining considerable success in poverty alleviation, women's development and promotion of girls' education, health, nutrition and microcredit. The Government of Bangladesh formulated National Plan of Action and national policy for the advancement and rights of women on the basis of Beijing PFA and CEDAW Convention.

The Government of Bangladesh submitted the 5th periodic report on the implementation of the Convention to the CEDAW Committee that was reviewed most positively. Bangladesh is among the top troop contributors in UN peacekeeping forces around the globe.


We live in an ever shrinking world. Since 1979, CEDAW has been the only bill of rights for women and is a key instrument for providing a platform and formulating a roadmap for emancipation of women.

We must agree that the struggle to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women has been, and still is, an uphill battle. It is unfortunate that even today - in 2006 - women all over the world are subject to gender discrimination. Though there have been new legislations, social measures and informal developments in various countries, women in many localities are still denied their full civil, political, financial and personal rights. In theory, women may have "Rights," but they do not have Access to those rights, therefore, still not Free from discrimination. Women are still unable to blossom to their full potential.

As a woman and champion of women's freedom and rights, I believe that I can utilize my experience and expertise to help other women, and children, whose rights have been denied or neglected, and freedoms - personal and legal - have been curtailed. I see a great opportunity to create awareness and advocacy mechanisms as well as educational and support services in partnership with other countries around the globe.



                                                                   Designed & Developed by Ushno(+8801717878542), Rony(+8801199144296)