Dhaka, January 8: Newly-elected fifth-term Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said she looks after her people with motherly affection but did not think her gender is any impediment to her work. Refusing to be bracketed as a woman running the top office in Bangladesh, she said, “Actually when you run the country, you should not think about whether you are a man or a woman.
"When I took over power, I had heard many things about it. But when I work, when I start working, I never thought I am a woman, I had restrictions, no,” the 76-year-old leader told a press conference hours after winning the fourth consecutive victory with a decisive majority. “I try to work for my people and yes, I can tell you one thing. A woman as a mother (they) look after families, look after children, (I have) brought up children. With motherly affection, I look after my people. And I try to assist them and help them,” she replied to a question about the restrictions she felt as a woman leading the country. Bangladesh Election 2024 Result: Sheikh Hasina Re-Elected for Fifth Term Amid Opposition Boycott
Wearing a pastel green saree, tackling questions with wit and a smile evoking laughter and appreciation, the Awami League leader responded to a question comparing her with other great women prime ministers or presidents from across the world, former prime ministers of India, Indira Gandhi, Sri Lanka's Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Israel's Golda Meir, disagreed. “You mentioned about Mrs Gandhi, Sirimavo Bandarnayake or Golda Mier. They are very great ladies. I am not. I am very simple, just a common person. I feel I am just a common person,” she said.
“I am not saying I have not got much but one thing, I always feel (is) my responsibility for my people that I have to serve them. So I never felt that this is a position I have to run it no I felt this is an opportunity to serve my country, my people, and ensure that they get a better life,” she asserted. Without betraying a hint of sadness, but with a pause, she also said: “I am in power … you know … … the killer, they eliminated my entire family. My younger brother was only 10 years old. Perhaps they had in their mind that nobody from the family will come again in power. Bangladesh Election 2024 Result: Sheikh Hasina’s Party Wins Poll For Record Fifth Term Amid Opposition Boycott
In August 1975, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his wife and their three sons were assassinated in their home by military officers. His daughters Hasina and Rehana survived the purge as they were abroad. “But yes, it is about people. Our people gave me this opportunity. Time and again, people are voting for me and I am here. I have survived many times and I think, Allah gave me this opportunity,” Hasina, who won two-thirds of the seats in an election boycotted by the major opposition parties, added.