Rural women entrepreneurs need support to overcome covid-19 loss
DHAKA, June 02, 2022 (BSS) - Afroza Khatun, a familiar name of a remote village Chak Alladi under Iswardi upazila in Pabna district, has established herself as an example for other women by creating her position in the man dominated society through income generating activities.
As our society is not yet friendly for women as an entrepreneur, Afroza Khatun faces social barriers in running her business in the remote village. However, her mental and physical strength along with the supports from her husband and other family members enables her to advance overcoming all obstacles.
Afroza has been successful in her business and in bringing financial solvency for her family. She can be considered a role model for the women entrepreneurs because of her uphill struggle and commitment to her business. Other women may be encouraged by her success.
"From my childhood, I wanted to do something myself. So, I joined business for contributing to my family income. I am owner of Tamim Farm. All kinds of household animals, like cow, sheep, goat and hen are in my firm. My main products are meat, egg and milk," said Afroza.
Expressing her gratitude to the almighty Allah, she informed that the financial condition was not good of her family, but now, they are very much solvent and her two sons and three daughters are studying at university and school. she urged the government to provide necessary support to the women entrepreneurs to bounce back from the loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Talking to BSS, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Director Syed Moazzam Hossain said nearly half of the total population in Bangladesh is women and they constitute an essential part of the nation's human resources. For this reason, engaging women in income-generating activities has now become a major concern for the policymakers, he added.
He said women and girls, everywhere, must have equal rights and opportunity, and be able to live free of violence and discrimination. Women's equality and empowerment is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, but also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development, he mentioned. In short, he said, all the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5.
As per UN women website, gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women's rights in private and public spheres. For example, discriminatory laws need to change and legislation adopted to proactively advance equality.
Yet 49 countries still lack laws protecting women from domestic violence, while 39 bar equal inheritance rights for daughters and sons. Eliminating gender-based violence is a priority, given that this is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world today.
Based on data from 87 countries, 1 in 5 women and girls under the age of 50 will have experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Harmful practices, such as child marriage, steal the childhood of 15 million girls under age 18 every year. Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men.
While families, societies and economies depend on this work, for women, it leads lower earnings and less time to engage in non-work activities.
In addition to equal distribution of economic resources, which is not only a right, but accelerates development in multiple areas, there needs to be a fair balance of responsibility for unpaid care work between men and women. Sexual and reproductive rights are critical in their own right.
Shortfalls in these multiply other forms of discrimination, depriving women of education and decent work, for example. Yet only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care. While more women have entered political positions in recent years, including through the use of special quotas, they still hold a mere 23.7 per cent of parliamentary seats, far short of parity. The situation is not much better in the private sector, where women globally occupy less than a third of senior and middle management positions.