21 Jun 2021, 18:47

Grassroots women in mainstream of development

DHAKA, June 21, 2021 (BSS) - The half of Bangladesh's population are women but balanced development of the country is never possible keeping them away. The indispensable prerequisite of the balanced uplift is to engage the womenfolk in the national development and ensure their overall empowerment.

Taking this into consideration, the government has taken various initiatives to ensure women's participation in all spheres, and as a result, the women at the grassroots are being involved in the mainstream of development.

Sources concerned said taking women development into consideration, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had ensured equal rights of the female and males in the constitution.

Bangabandhu had also formed Bangladesh Women Rehabilitation Board for the women who were tortured and affected during the Liberation War. Later, the board was turned into Bangladesh Women Rehabilitation and Welfare Foundation through passing of a law in the Jatiya Sangsad.

After crossing different steps, Bangladesh Women Rehabilitation and Welfare Foundation was transformed into the Department of Women Affairs now.

Since its inception in 1990, the department has taken various measures for the welfare of the womenfolk in society. It has been working with a goal to involve the women in the mainstream of development as well as establish a gender-based society and ensure the rights of the women and children.

Director General of the department Ram Chandra Das said the department has taken multifaceted programmes including socioeconomic development of the women, their social safety, raising health awareness, creating employment, poverty alleviation and preventing repression.

Besides, he said, to make the underprivileged women self-reliant at the grassroots through creating employment, various types of training, economic assistance and sewing machines are being provided to them alongside different kinds of allowances.

Sources concerned said the department is working in six clusters to involve the grassroots women in the mainstream of development. The VGD (vulnerable group development) Programme is one of the clusters.

While talking about the VGD programme, the director general of the department said this programme has been taken to meet the demand of the food of rural distressed families and create a scope for training to raise their skill.

The sources said Taka 1,719 crore, 84 lakh and 17 thousand were allocated in the last fiscal year for the project. Through this, 74,400 tonnes of rice were distributed among 10 lakh 40 thousand VGD beneficiaries under the food aid programme.

Besides, training for increasing income and skill was provided to them through 456 selected non-government organisations (NGOs).

Apart from this, the department is conducting a savings management programme to raise the savings of the grassroots women as well as nutrition activities to remove their nutrition deficiency.

Saleha Begum, a beneficiary of Satpai area in Netrakona district, said: "I've taken training on tailoring. Now I myself is doing tailoring work and through this, my family has become solvent economically."

Former state minister for women and children Meher Afroz Chumki said various initiatives have been taken by the government for women development.

"But the outlook of the males must be changed to ensure balanced participation of the women nationally," she said.

Chumki said the women are pushed backward by giving misinterpretation of religions. "So, this interpretation will have to be stopped and then, Bangladesh will move forward further," she added.

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