EBL Women Banking Services
Speech HE Sophie Aubert, the Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
(EBL Center, 19 03 2017)
It’s an honor to have been invited to conclude this important event. I support this initiative to launch an EBL Women Banking Services, because in France, we grant a great deal of importance to all gender topics, equality between men and women, and we encourage all the initiatives in that sense worldwide. That’s the reason why I am here.
In France, even though we were the first country where a female citizen, Olympe de Gouges, wrote the universal Declaration of the women’s rights and the rights of the female citizen in 1791, we had to wait until 1945 to see women being given the right to vote for the political elections. It’s not that far behind, just a little bit more than 70 years. Today progress has been made, but we can observe from the everyday reality that there is still tremendous room for improvement. In Bangladesh, the initiative taken by EBL is most valuable. Better treatment for women is necessary because it’s not a natural behavior in our societies. We have to force the trend if we want our societies to change. Giving women an easier access to services is not a privilege but a way to make sure that women will really get access to the services.
Women have brought a huge contribution to the development of Bangladesh. But women in general have to manage two lives, their professional life and their private life. In many countries including Bangladesh, women are in charge of the household and the children. From the men’s perspective, it’s normal and the society globally is not ready to address this matter differently.
That’s the reason why EBL initiative is most appropriate. Women will spare time in their lives in order to dedicate more time for their priorities. In addition, as we are also talking about connectivity: connectivity is a key issue worldwide and in Bangladesh. Connectivity shrinks time and distance. It opens to more liberty in our way of life. It’s a fact, to say that thanks to connectivity, our entire way of life, professional and private life, has totally changed in the last twenty years.
When Bangladesh integrates high technologies and innovation, it’s tantamount to a technological leap, saving years in its developing process. Such a strategy can be assimilated to a fast track development. This is what EBL is doing and the private sector is playing the positive role of a pilot in that field, all over the world. I would like to congratulate EBL and the previous speakers for their huge commitment to the development of the country, but also for the valuable initiatives they have taken in favor of women, to support them by creating the conditions for them to play their role in the society, and therefore to be fully part of the future of the country, equally to men./.