An educated mother gives educated society, she says

In today's world, women empowerment is a must for the overall development of any country. We have seen surprising momentum of women empowerment in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a high-level discussion on 'Economic Growth through Women Empowerment' at the United Nations Headquarters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, emphasised the need for three actions, including working for overcoming gender stereotypes regarding women's ability, to advance women empowerment.

We remember, she said, "We've learned from our experience that economy gains significantly from empowerment of women. Greater gender equality means better education and health system, higher per capita income, faster economic growth and greater competitiveness."

Bangladesh Army, last week, found its first female Major General in Dr Susane Giti who thinks Bangladesh will march ahead towards a higher development trajectory with women empowerment and their growing presence everywhere with a greater effective role.

"It's a big positive thing. Our development journey will continue with the growing empowerment of women. An educated mother will give us an educated society and thus contribute to development of the country effectively," she told UNB.

Lauding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's pioneering role in empowering women, Maj Gen Giti said though the women remained out of focus in the past, they are now coming to the forefront which is a very positive development for the country.

She expressed satisfaction seeing women in many important positions, including the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

Asked where she wants to see Bangladesh after the next five years, the head of Pathology Department of the Armed Forces Medical College said: "I want to see Bangladesh as a more developed country at a newer height."

As a Shaheed family member as her father, a former police officer, was killed by Pakistani occupation forces, Maj Gen Giti said she wants Bangladesh to remain unstoppable in its journey towards further development.

Recalling her service at the UN peacekeeping mission, she said Bangladesh remains on top in terms of priority always and Bangladesh and its peacekeepers are always loved for their dedication to the missions.

"We used to provide free medical services in rural areas (under UN missions) when we received much love and affection from people. They used to shout - 'Bangla', 'Bangla', when our cars came to their notice; they wanted to learn Bangla."

Sharing Bangladesh Army's role, Maj Gen Giti said the Bangladesh Army comes forward always during the country's critical times like natural disaster, big incidents like Rana Plaza disaster and in development works like Hatirjheel beatification initiative. "I feel proud of being a member of the Bangladesh Army which is always dedicated to the country," she said.

Asked who inspired her to join the Bangladesh Army, Maj Gen Giti said her family played a role but the disciplined life of Bangladesh Army also attracted her. "I grew up in Rajshahi. I had a desire to become a doctor. But joining the Bangladesh Army developed in me later. Its disciplined life and the sense of responsibility attracted me the most."

Sought her suggestions for the new generation, Maj Gen Giti said: "Be dedicated to your service."

Maj Gen Giti, mother of one son and two daughters, said her two children - one son and a daughter - are already in medical profession while her younger daughter is now at HSC level. "They may also feel like me..."

Sharing her memorable moments, she said the day of joining the Bangladesh Army is a memorable moment but this responsibility as the first female Maj Gen is something bigger. "This recognition means a bigger responsibility. I want to provide better services though my professional knowledge."

Talking about challenges as she crossed a long way of her career, Maj Gen Giti said everyone faces some challenges but these challenges need to be overcome.

She expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the people of the country and said she wants to perform better in the days to come. "Starting something new is always a matter of joy."

Earlier, Bangladesh Army chief General Aziz Ahmed and Quarter Master General Lt General Md Shamsul Haque adorned Dr Susane Giti with the rank badge of Major General at the Army Headquarters.

Her husband, Brigadier General (retd) Asadullah Md Hossain Saad was a successful military expert physician.

Maj Gen Dr Susane Giti obtained MBBS degree from Rajshahi Medical College in 1985.

She joined the Bangladesh Army as a physician as captain in 1986.

In 1996, she became the first woman to obtain FCPS degree in Hematology. She also served as the expert pathologist for UN peacekeeping missions and several military hospitals.

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