Rima Sultana Rimu, one of the two Bangladeshi women named in the list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020 revealed by the BBC, is a role model of astonishing fortitude.
Daughter of a farmer from Razarkul Union in Ramu upazila, Rimu overcame all the odds to complete her education. Now, being an active member of ‘Young Women Leaders for Peace’ in Cox’s Bazar that works for the empowerment of young women from conflict zones, she is paying back to society.
In fact, for the past three years, she has been playing a key role in providing education to women and children at Rohingya camps, who are deprived of formal studies. Rimu has also been raising awareness among the Rohingyas on various issues, including child marriage, dowry and domestic violence.
She also uses mass media like radio broadcasts and road plays to create awareness among the Rohingyas about the UN Security Council’s recommendations on women, peace and security. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is my inspiration and the Jago Nari Foundation acted as a bridge for moving ahead,” Rimu told UNB.
For its list of 100 inspiring and influential women, BBC was looking for candidates who had made headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn’t necessarily hog media limelight.
The pool of names was then assessed against this year’s theme — Women who led change — and measured for regional representation, before the final list was released. The broadcaster releases the list every year.
“I do believe in women’s power for realising rights. I did not do anything to get recognition from BBC. I got involved in social service and never thought I would get such a big honour in recognition of my work. I feel proud and lucky to have received this honour,” Rimu said.
Asking about her future plans, she said, “I would like to work for the upliftment of women and children, who always remain deprived due to lack of opportunities despite having potential.”
Rimu’s father Abdur Rahim, said “We are happy and we’ll support her for the continuation of her success.”
Sheuli Sharma, Executive Director of Jago Nari Foundation, said, “Remu’s achievement is not only for Jago Nari or Cox’s Bazar but also a huge achievement for Bangladesh. I think her outstanding achievement is a reflection of the Prime Minister’s efforts to empower women, and it will be a milestone in removing barriers for women across the country.”