07 Apr 2022, 12:42

Women to get decision-making power on employment, others issues

  DHAKA, April 07, 2022 (BSS) - Bangladesh is the few top countries in the region that has increased female employment with a fast pace in the last decade while also cutting the wage gap between men and women significantly.

  Along with the women empowerment, the country witnessed female labor force participation rate increased to 36 percent from 26 percent between 2003 and 2016. However, women still have limited choices, control and decision-making power over their employment, finances and economic assets.

  To address the issues, the Awami League government has decided to extend one of its 1996 tenure's initiatives to further empower the rural women and school going girls with the ability of decision-making power under a project named coordinated rural employment assistance programme.

  The local government and rural development cooperative ministry will implement the programme at a cost of Taka 346.55 crore aiming at increasing the average per capita income of beneficiary rural women by Taka 10,000 per month by 2025.

  Director (planning) of Rural Development Board S M Masudur Rahman said in 1997, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Jashore and declared a program for empowering women and creating job for the rural women of the greater district. In line with that a self-employment programe for the rural women of 21 upazila of four districts under the greater Jashore was implemented from 1998 to 2003.

  Later, the government implemented similar kind of progrmme for rural women in 59 upazilas under Khulna and Brishal districts from 2012 to 2018. Project director of first phase of rural employment assistance for women M Rashid Uddin said huge number of women of these upazilas had been able to uplift them from ultra-poor to poor level benefiting from the various kinds of training and seed money from the project. After successful implementation of the project the local government, rural development and cooperative ministry formulated second phase of the project which is now waiting to get nod of ECNEC. Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) will implement the proposed 59 upazials under Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Rangpur division within June in 2025.

  Analyzing the project, it is seen that the beneficiaries will be selected first by conducting a survey. After that, activities will be carried out by forming women's associations consisting of female beneficiaries as well as adolescents' associations consisting of school going girls. Under the project, the beneficiaries will get small capital, training on different income generating activities and proper utilization of the seed money through small savings and savings incentives.

  Project officer Zakir Hossain Akand, who is member of Agriculture, Water Resources and Sedimentation Department under the Planning Commission, said the project would alleviate poverty and inequality of the rural women of the targeted divisions.

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