DHAKA, June 22 (Xinhua) - The success of Wasfia Nazreen to reach the summit of Mount Qomolangma (also known as Everest), the world's highest mountain, last month just about a week after Nishat Majumder made the same feat, has brought great pride to Bangladesh, particularly to the Bangladeshi women.
Nishat, who conquered the peak on May 19, told Xinhua on Tuesday that her success proved that women have the resilience and courage to surmount obstacles and prove their abilities just like men.
"So far I understand conquering Mount Everest is the toughest task in the world. My success will help boost confidence among Bangladeshi women to take up all sorts of challenges," Nishat Majumder told Xinhua.
Nishat and Wasfia, nicknames of the two conquerors, have reached the summit of the mountain about two years after Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi man to scale up the world's highest peak on May 23, 2010.
Nishat ascended to the summit from the northern side of the mountain in Nepal on May 19 morning with MA Mohit, the second Bangladeshi male to have conquered the mountain after Ibrahim on May 21, 2011.
Nishat, a 31-year-old accountant, expressed the hope that her success would surely be a source of inspiration for many in this South Asian nation where women were long considered as the weaker sex, more squeamish than men and are unable to perform some tasks requiring muscular or intellectual prowess.
"They (Nishat and Wasfia) stand out as inspirations for all the women in the country of about 150 million people, near half of them women," said Sultana Kamal, an ex-adviser to Bangladesh Caretaker Government of 2007-08.
She said the two paved the way for many women at home and abroad to march forward alongside men.
"Our women have now become examples of women in other countries to emulate after the two Bangladeshi women achieved success in arenas formerly reserved only for men and defying social and religious barriers," said Kamal, also an eminent women's rights activist.
Echoing Kamal, Sangita Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also said that women are really capable of doing what men can do "if given the opportunity and after removing all barriers."
She said women all over the world should be proud of Nishat and Nazreen for what they have achieved.
Apart from relatives, colleagues, representatives of different government agencies and journalists greeted Nishat and Muhith when they arrived at the main airport in Dhaka.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia have greeted the conquerors who have become headlines in all local media for days.
Munni Shaha, head of news of a local TV channel, said the two deserved to be honored because they have proven that women can take any challenge.
Nishat said she has dedicated her success to the young generation of Bangladesh.
Wasfia wrote in her facebook just after reaching the peak on May 29 that "this is to the countless women around the world who are breathing day and night to break our 'manmade' shackles."