More investments should be made in the e-commerce sector for women, speakers urge investors
Modern-day women are self-established as they do not rely on men for any help. They have proved their capabilities through which they have achieved their positions in society.
Speakers made the observations at the inaugural session of an international e-conference on “Women in 100 years: Changes and challenges in light of development goals and Covid-19” on Tuesday.
The program was organized in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Dhaka University’s (DU) department of women and gender studies, to mark International Women’s Day this year.
While addressing the event, Kamrun Nahar, vice-president of Urban Development Journalist Forum Bangladesh, said: “We women have attained our self-esteem with our own efforts. I would like to urge all to maintain this courage.”
Sadeka Halim, dean of DU’s Social Science Faculty, said: “A lot of women have fallen victim to violence across the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. There had already been problems [for women], and the pandemic only worsened them. Many even lost their jobs in the RMG sector.”
“More investments should be made in the e-commerce sector for women. Also, their unpaid work should be evaluated in the gross national product (GNP),” she added.
Inaugurating the session as chief guest, DU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof M Akhtaruzzaman thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for showing the path to leadership by women in the country, adding, “The government is firmly committed to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG).”
“There are some promising areas for the development of our women that researchers can explore,” the VC suggested.
Dr Rounaq Jahan, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue and chair of the advisory group of Bangladesh Health Watch, presented the keynote paper.
In her remarks, she said: “Women have made a lot of progress in the last 100 years. During our time in university, we [female students] used to stand outside the classrooms for safety reasons and only entered following the teacher’s arrival. But now women have made their place in society.”
“If we look at the data, maternal mortality has declined since 1990, girls now outnumber boys in secondary education, 36% of women are employed and 80% of RMG workers are women,” she said, adding, “Although the participation of women has increased by their efforts, their roles are not being evaluated properly and they are still being victimized.”
Local Government Division (LGD) Joint Secretary Abdul Mannan, said: “We are trying to accelerate our work after the Covid-19-forced break. But we have made a lot of achievements in ensuring gender equality in Bangladesh.”
DU women and gender studies department Chairperson and Associate Prof Sanjida Akhter, Assistant Professor Aditi Sabur of the same department, Urban Development Journalist Forum General Secretary Shohel Mamun attended the session, among others.
DU Pro VC (Academic) Prof ASM Maksud Kamal is expected to be present as the chief guest at the closing session of the two-day-long conference, while Asiatic Society Bangladesh President Mahfuza Khanam will be present as special guest on Wednesday.