The United States is deeply concerned about recent actions the Government of Bangladesh has taken to give the government-appointed chairman of the Grameen Bank Board control over the selection of the bank’s new managing director. This move would diminish the role the largely female borrower-shareholders play in shaping the direction of an institution that has made a difference to millions of impoverished women in Bangladesh, and indeed around the world.
During her May visit to Dhaka, Secretary Clinton urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to take no actions that would undermine Grameen Bank. We are concerned that the latest actions by the government could threaten the future of the bank, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
We call on the Government of Bangladesh to respect the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of Grameen Bank. We urge the Bangladeshi Government to ensure transparency in the selection of a new managing director who has unquestioned integrity, competence, and dedication to preserving Grameen Bank, its unique governance structure, and its effectiveness in bringing development and hope to 8.3 million of Bangladesh’s most vulnerable citizens, mostly women.