DHAKA, Sept 19, 2020 (BSS/UNICEF FEATURE) – Women in Bangladesh are no longer staying behind rather they are moving forward side by side man through the prudent initiatives of government which has also ensured their active participation in many sectors. Now, women are playing a strong role in making decisions in their family that is one of the signs of women empowerment.
The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been implementing Vision-2021 where the issues of women and children are being prioritized considering their number and stake in the country, said people working on gender issues.
Sources said the government has been implementing different programmes for the empowerment and development of women and children. Some of those are National Women Development Policy-2011, National Child Development Policy-2011, Comprehensive Policy on Early Childhood Care and Evolution-2013, Psycho-social Counseling Policy-2016 (Draft), Action Plan for National Women Development Policy, 2013-2015, Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2017 etc.
Besides, the government has been implementing different activities under social safety net programme. Destitute women are being given monthly 30 kgs of foodstuffs under two-year long vulnerable group feeding (VGF) campaign by the department of women affairs. In last 11 years, over 40 lakh women benefited under the VGF programme.
Alongside it, some facilities are being given through contacted NGOs. In addition, poor women received maternity allowance and the number is over 15 lakh during 2009 to 2017.
COMPUTER TRAINING FOR UNEMPLOYED WOMEN:
The government through Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha (JMS) has been providing computer and IT training to unemployed educated women in 64 districts to make them self employed. Under the scheme, nearly 20,000 women received training in fiscal 2019-20 while 16,635 women in fiscal 2016-17, 5,882 women in fiscal 2015-16 and 4,393 women in fiscal 2014-15.
NATIONAL HELPLINE CENTRE FOR PREVENTING WOMEN AND CHILD REPRESSION:
National helpline centre has been established on June 19, 2012 under multisectoral project to prevent women and child repression. Any women, children and their family can know existing services, information and get consultation and assistance by calling to the toll free number 109.
A total of 2,26,263 calls received by the centre in fiscal 2016-17.
A total of 379 Juvenile clubs in all union parishads of each upazila under seven districts of seven divisions are being operated by department of women affairs since 2011 to bring positive changes among the juveniles.
The districts are Gopalganj, Chuadanga, Thakurgaon, Jhalakathi, Rangamati, Maulavibazar and Sirajganj.
Deputy Director of Maulavibazar District Women Affairs Office Viqarun Nesa said the juvenile used to discuss about different awareness building issues such as child marriage, dowry and eve teasing in the club. The juvenile are also taught mutual respect through the club.
CONSTRUCTION OF HOSTEL FOR FEMALE RMG WORKERS:
The government has been operating hostel to ensure secured dwelling place for working women. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2013 laid foundation stone for a 12-story hostel building for women RMG workers on 42 decimal of land at Ashulia in Savar.
Bangladesh Mahila Parshad president Ayesha Khanam said women have been empowered in different sectors but political empowerment of women is not given importance more specifically what is needed as base of empowerment is remained weak and that is why focus should be given on it.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira said the government has taken different initiatives to ensure development and empowerment of women as well as their poverty alleviation.