Under the dynamic leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved a GDP growth rate of 7.05 % and a per capita income of $1335 in FY 2015-16. It was upgraded to the status of a lower middle income country in 2015. Bangladesh ensures food security. And Since independence in 1971 food production has increased three fold. Bangladesh has met the MDG hunger target along with achieving most of the MDGs and is committed towards achieving the SDGs targets with special focus.
Significant improvement has been made in social indicators such as education, health and sanitation. Maternity and infant mortality have been reduced to 1.7 and 33 per thousand, respectively. Average life expectancy has gone up to 70.7 years. Rate of poverty has decreased to 24.3 percent.
In September 2015, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the highest environmental accolade of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Champions of the Earth Award. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was presented with the memento titled "Tree of Peace" by UNESCO in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of girls' and women's education in 2014. More recently Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been bestowed with the UN-Women 'Planet 50-50 Champion and Global Partnership Forum 'Agent of Change Award on September, 2016 at the UN Plaza in New York.
A good number of initiatives have been taken to empower women in the society. Women's Participations in the labor force has increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2013 and a significant representation of women at all level of both private and public sector is now in place. Women are gradually becoming an important partner in the socio-economic development due to the diverse initiatives undertaken by the present government. Some of the initiatives worthy of mention are bringing the destitute, disadvantaged and disable women under the coverage of social protection, preventing violence against women, providing micro credit and skill training for self-employment and formulating gender sensitive laws and regulation. Gender equality has already been achieved in Primary and Secondary level and girls up to graduation level are provided with monthly stipend to mitigate some of the expenses related to their educational need.
All these measures have contributed in bringing women to the mainstream of the society and to be a part of the socioeconomic development. According to the 'Global Gender GAP Report' Bangladesh ranked 68th in 2014 among 142 countries leaving Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan behind. In terms of political empowerment of women, Bangladesh was at the 10th position among 142 countries.
Community clinics around the country are catering to the health and nutritional needs of the poor, destitute and pregnant women and children. About 13 thousand Community clinics have become operational and another 1 thousand will soon be operational. Plans are under way to distribute laptops among the community clinics which will enable the rural people to use telemedicine services and keep themselves updated with latest information on health related issues and education.
With the intention of generating electricity from the renewable energy source The government has initiated programmes to establish solar panel in some of the remote areas of the country in order to bring those people under the electricity coverage.
To fully eradicate poverty from the country government is pledge bound to ensure rational and target oriented programmes. 3 million beneficiaries are getting old age allowances, more than 1.1 million widow, abandoned and destitute women are also receiving monthly allowances. The number of beneficiaries of maternity allowances for poor and those of working lactating mothers have also been enhanced significantly.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in Digitalization. Tele-density and internet density have gone up to 80.1 percent and 29.3 percent respectively. About 5 thousand Union Information Service Centres have been established to cater to the need of the grassroots level people living in the villages. Similarly Municipal digital centres have been set up in almost all the municipalities of the country. Agriculture is also reaping benefit to wider penetration of IT. Multimedia class rooms with laptop and internet connection have been set up to expand IT-based education. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is firm in her commitment to accomplish the challenging task of transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021.