Staff Correspondent: Now it is the time for women in Bangladesh as in true sense women empowerment is going in the country. Working life style of village and city is changing with the touch of women rapidly. Women have progressed much in terms of empowerment.
For example, the Prime Minister is a woman, the Deputy Leader of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition is a woman and the Speaker is also a woman. There are 20 women who directly elected members of parliament in the current parliament, while the reserved women’s seats in Parliament have been increased from 45 to 50.
Women are being empowered in challenging jobs like the army, navy, air force, where they are facing the challenges with courage and fortitude. Besides, women are working as judges, secretaries, vice chancellors of universities, election commissioners, ambassadors, deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and officers-in-charge of police stations. They are contributing a lot to the national economic progress.
According to a survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, out of 5.41 crore workers in the country 1.82 crore are women. Over 16 thousand women are engaged in small and medium enterprises and 82,558 women are working as expatriate workers in various professions abroad. The garments industry, the main source of foreign exchange, employed 80% women workers. Above all, 90 percent of microcredit users in the country are women.
The women live in the hilly and coastal areas of the country are also not lagging behind urban women. With the passage of time, the women of 16 coastal districts have passed a long way. The women are changing their quality of life side by side with making remarkable contribution to the national economy.
Earlier, coastal women were obsessed with various superstitions. Now-a-days, the mindsets of those coastal women have been changed. They are contributing to the agricultural sector. They are participating in the progress of various schemes of Digital Bangladesh activities of the present government, using mobile phones and solar energy.
Farida Yasmin, panel chairperson of district council in the coastal district of Laxmipur, said: “We’ve come a long way towards empowering women in the coastal areas. We’re now making contribution to the socio-economic development in many ways. The educated women are getting involved in economic activities by taking various trainings and getting loans from the government and various agencies.”
She, however, said if the cottage industry can be expanded, the coastal women will get more opportunities for job.
Mahfuza Yesmin, female vice-chairman of Bhola’s Borhan Uddin upazila, said, “Women empowerment has increased in the coastal district of Bhola over the last 9-10 years. The girls’ education is increasing brushing aside the obstacles like poverty superstition, bigotry and child marriage.”
She said if equality between men and women is ensured at the rural grassroots areas then women’s empowerment will be established.
When contacted Rahima Sultana Kajal, leader of Barisal Mahila Parishad, said: “Women in remote char areas no longer stay at home. They are participating in agricultural work. Girls are benefiting from NGOs, micro-credit assistance, VGF and 40-day food programs. Now they are involved with the local government.”
According to Global Gender Gap, Bangladesh is on top of all the countries in South Asia in women empowerment and seventh in the world in terms of women’s political empowerment.
‘National Women’s Development Policy-2011’ of the government has been playing a very significant role for the achievement of women empowerment in Bangladesh. This law helps establishing equal rights in the society.
Since 2009, the government has been formulating gender responsive budget in phases in the national budget through which various activities are being conducted in all the ministries to consolidate the economic and social empowerment of women. All the women, especially the women in the coastal areas, are getting the benefits of the budget as the government is paying more attention to the backward and inaccessible areas.
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