Experts also tried to identify the gaps in implementing the seventh Five Year Plan in terms of youth and gender issues amid the pandemic
Experts on Saturday said the upcoming eighth Five Year Plan will play an essential role in a sustainable recovery track from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing a webinar, they also tried to identify the gaps in implementing the seventh Five Year Plan in terms of youth and gender issues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Asian Network for Economic Modelling (Sanem) and ActionAid Bangladesh jointly organized the webinar, where the experts also urged the government to assess the expectations for the next plan, particularly from the perspective of young people and females who bore the brunt of the pandemic's fallout.
Whether Bangladesh will fully succeed in realizing the potential of the demographic dividend is contingent upon whether the government and relevant stakeholders can design and implement efficient strategies that will help to mitigate the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic, they also said.
Prof Sayema Haque Bidisha, of the economics department at Dhaka University, and also research director at Sanem, moderated the webinar, which was titled "Reflection of Youth and Gender Issues in Five Year Plans in Light of Pandemic", said a press release.
She expressed her concern over the youth unemployment rate, 10.7 per cent, which is higher than the national average.
Moreover, the proportion of youth classified as NEET (not in employment, education or training) is almost 30 per cent of the youth population aged between 18-29 years, she also said.
Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said that it was more essential to ensure maximising the benefits of the dividend by designing appropriate policies to address the challenges faced by the youth and females.
Eshrat Sharmin, senior research associate at Sanem, highlighted five key sectors that must receive highest priority in the 8th Five Year Plan: education, employment and income, health and nutrition, poverty and social safety net, and gender.
Nobonita Chowdhury, director, Gender, Justice & Diversity (GJD) and Preventing Violence Against Women Initiative at Brac, said that the proportion of female youth classified as NEET currently stands at 49% which provides evidence to support the fact that women need special attention in planning and policy-making discussions.
Maliha M Quadir, founder and managing director of Shohoz, that one of the positive sides of the pandemic is that it has introduced the world to the possibility of working remotely.
Proper training in English-language skills, digital media and programming can have a significant impact in improving the scope for remote work, particularly for the youth, she added.