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Dhaka Tribune

Dipu Moni: Road map, action plan crucial for thriving care economy

 ‘If we don’t feel fulfilled from within, how would we care for others?’

Update : 02 Apr 2024, 08:37 PM

Women’s limited access to infrastructure and public services amplifies the burden of care work, and traditional gender norms further contribute to this issue, with girls often prioritizing care work over education and economic opportunities, experts say.

Participating in a roundtable on “Building a Strategic Roadmap for Care Economy in Bangladesh” at a city hotel in Dhaka on Monday, stakeholders from government bodies, development organizations, the private sector, and academia explored strategies for nurturing a caring economy that empowers both paid and unpaid care workers and fuels economic growth.

AYAT Education, a social enterprise, organized the discussion. 

Speaking as the chief guest, Social Welfare Minister Dipu Moni said: “If we don’t feel fulfilled from within, how would we care for others?”

“We need a road map to first understand the existing work and do a situational analysis mapping to create an action plan. We can all join this initiative for the care economy through an existing vitalizing body,” she added. 

Nusrat Aman, chief executive officer (CEO) of AYAT Education, said: “The care economy, encompassing both paid and unpaid work that supports the well-being of individuals across all life stages, is critical for fostering resilient and inclusive societies.” 

Nusrat Aman moderated the discussion.

In her keynote speech, Nasheeba Selim, Gender & Social Inclusion Specialist of the Asian Development Bank, said: “We have to look at the behavioural changes, preconceived stereotypical notions, gender gaps, and people of minority groups in terms of these care economy professions.”

Shaheen Anam from Manusher Jonno Foundation said: “For the most vulnerable women at the bottom of our homes, our domestic help is completely ignored. Unpaid work should be monitored and included in the economy.”

Farah Kabir from ActionAid said: “Women work six hours more than men. We need to redistribute work to balance these gaps in our GDP.”

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