Deputy Speaker tells a dialogue
Staff Correspondent: Deputy Speaker Md. Shamsul Haque Tuku, MP at a dialogue on Saturday urged the government, owners and workers to work together to resolve the problems of women workers in the shrimp industry.
“If the owner does not see the interests of the workers, then the workers will not see the interests of the owners. So, along with the government, the industry owners, and shrimp workers have to work together to solve different problems by applying right strategies,” he said while the national dialogue on ‘Position of Women Workers in Shrimp Industry: Reality and Actions’.
Non-governmental development organisation LEDARS (Local Environment Development an Agricultural Research Society) organized the dialogue at the Parliament Members’ Club at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with Nikhil Chandra Bhadra, coordinator of the Sundarbans and Coastal Protection Movement, in the chair.
Deputy Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, MP, Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment Begum Shamsun Nahar MP, were present at the function as the special guests. Executive Director of LEDARS Mohan Kumar Mondal presented the keynote speech.
Coordinator of Waterkeepers-Bangladesh Sharif Jamil, Assistant Professor of Shere Bangla Agricultural University Mir Mohammad Ali, Project officer of Ministry of Women and Child Affairs Halima Begum, former president of Dhaka Reporters Unity Rafiqul Islam Azad, Oxfam representative Shahajadi Begum, joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) Aminur Rasul Babul, among others also spoke on the occasion.
Deputy Speaker Md. Shamsul Haque Tuku said that the shrimp sector, which is one of the foreign exchange earners of the country, is under threat in many ways.
He said, the women workers involved in the shrimp sector are being oppressed in various ways. In order to ensure national development, the rights of these backward women must be ensured. We have to work to eliminate all the existing discrimination against women to ensure economic and political empowerment of women, he added.
Deputy Minister Habibur Nahar said that the country’s shrimp sector is facing various conspiracies.
“Women workers in this sector are decreasing day by day due to lower wages and longer working hours than men,” she said adding that the government to solve the ongoing crisis in a quick time.
Sharif Jamil said that everyone should work together to sustain the shrimp industry. Moreover, the extent to which we have been able to accept shrimp as an industry is also a matter of thought.
“The government should take a bigger plan for this industry. Not only the workers but also all those involved in the industry should ensure the prosperity of this sector in an environmentally friendly manner,” he added.
Mohan Kumar Mandal said the female workers in the shrimp industry could not get out of the trap of wage discrimination even after hundreds of attempts.
“A woman worker earns about Tk 36,000 a year due to wage inequality. As a result, they are facing financial loss, which is a major obstacle in the way of women’s empowerment,” he observed.
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