Morjina Begum, honored with Joyeeta
On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017, Ms. Morjina Begum, Executive Director of Mukti Mohila Shamity (MMS), partner organization of Save the Children, based in Rajbari, received ‘Joyeeta’ award at the national level from the state minister for women and children affairs, Ms. Meher Afroz Chumki, for her outstanding performance as a woman leader.
Ms. Rebecca Momin, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry for Women and Children Affairs and Ms. Christine Hunter, UN Women Representative in Bangladesh graced the occasion as guests of honor. The ‘Joyeeta’ honor includes a certificate of achievement, a crest of recognition and a cheque of BDT 50,000 to the recipient. This year five women were awarded with ‘Joyeeta’.
The Bengali word ‘Joyeeta’ connotes victory of women who won the battle. This is a program of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and achievement made by successful women are honoured under this program. Ms. Morjina was awarded for her dedicated service to the community of sex workers and their children. In 2016, she was first recognized as ‘Joyeeta’ of Rajbari district.
Ms. Morjina started her life as a sex worker in her early age. However, she fought back and started working for the rights of the fellow workers. She is currently Executive Director of MMS, a non-government organization (NGO), that works for the realization of the rights of the sex workers and their children. MMS provides health, education and protection support to the children in the community.
‘Truly I am flooded with emotions as I have received the Joyeeta award from the state. I have mix feelings today. This is the happiest moment but the challenging experiences of my past life also make me cry. This award gives me new courage, confidence and reenergize my efforts for the cause I have been working for – creating an environment where sex workers and their children are respected as equal human beings.’- said Ms. Morjina.
Save the children has been supporting Ms. Morjina and fellow workers in Daulatdia brothel since 1997. With the support of Save the Children, MMS got registered in 1999 as a community-based organization. Later, it joined in the Sex workers’ Network of Bangladesh in 2002. Ms. Morjina was elected Executive Director of MMS in 2008. Save the Children has been supporting MMS in building organizational capacity, providing technical support to the staff, linking them with the governmental agencies and helping them become member of strategic alliances and networks.