DHAKA, Sept 11, 2019 (BSS) – It is not possible to make economy of any
country prosperous through only urban development. So equal development of
rural and urban areas is a must for overall development including economy of
If we look at the developing countries of the world, it is seen that
their rural economy is very strong. And females are playing an important role
than the males in strengthening the rural economy.
Thanks to the government’s policy of equal development of rural and
urban areas, many people are contributing to the country’s economy,
especially rural economy, after leaving the towns.
Ayesha Khatun of Bilaichhari in Bandarban is such a woman. She came to
Dhaka few years back after holding the hands of her friend Shaheda. As she
wished to help her parent, she took a job at a garment factory in the
beginning. Her salary was Taka 7,000 at that time.
Though Ayesha worked as a helper in the factory first, she learned
sewing work slowly. After two-year work in this way, her salary increased to
Taka 8,500. After sending Taka 4000 to home, she struggled to arrange food
and accommodation with the remaining money.
Then, she decided to return to her Bilaichhari village in Lama upazila.
After going there, Ayesha took training on cutting cloth with the assistance
of an NGO. After the three-month training, she herself started sewing work in
her house after purchasing sewing machines.
Though she first struggled to get customers, her reputation spread
gradually. Since then, Ayesha did not need to look backward.
Ayesha bore all expenses of her marriage and before it she bought two
battery-run rickshaws for her younger brother with her deposited money.
Like Ayesha, many women are going back to their own villages after
leaving towns and they are trying to be self-reliant by earning money to a
some extent. As a result, labour force of the women is increasing at villages
and rural economy is vibrating.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the rate of women
participation in labour force is more at villlages than towns. The position
of the females in labour force in the towns in 1995-96 was 20.5 percent
against 17.4 percent at villages. Till 2003, the rate was higher in urban
areas. The latest 2016-17 statistics, the rate rose to 38.6 percent at
villages. On the other hand, it declined to 31 percent at villages. Sixty
percent of women engaged in rural labour force are working in agriculture
The 2015-16 BBS statistics said the participation of women in the total
labour force is 35.6 percent. At the divisional level, the rate is more in
Rajshahi, Khulna and Rangpur divisions. Rajshahi topped with 49.8 percent,
followed by Khulna 42.2 percent, Rangpur 41.5 percent, Chattogram 34 percent,
Dhaka 29.9 percent, Barishal 29.8 percent and Sylhet lowest with 23.3
Ayesha said the present government after assuming office did many works
for the development of the womenfolk. But most of them do not know about it.
There are many facilities through which they can earn money and become self-
reliant by sitting at the house.
Maria Sarkar, a women movement activist, said previously the womenfolk
used to come to the towns from villages for changing their lot. Its main
reason was garment industry.
Mainly the women used to move to towns for bearing own expenses by
working in these garment factories. The most of these women who work in these
factories hail from various regions of North Bengal. Its reason is that
poverty rate of these areas was more in compared to other regions.
After assuming office by the present Awami League government, Maria
Sarkar said, the picture of these areas has almost changed because this
government believes in women empowerment. Simultaneously, the government
wants to vibrate the rural economy for overall development of the country.
To achieve the goal, a number of initiatives have been undertaken and
among them, “Amar Bari, Amar Khamar” (My House, My Farm) is the most popular
Eminent economist Professor Dr Sekandar Islam said after being
encouraged in the “My House, My Farm” project, farms have been set up in most
of the rural houses.
Many people are cultivating vegetables at their homesteads or
cultivating fishes in their ponds alongside rearing ducks, chicken, goats,
lambs and cows.
And women of these houses are mostly doing these works. As a result,
they are becoming self-reliant economically in one hand, while the rural
economy is being vibrated on the other hand.