• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:39 am

ED: The empowerment of women is a prerequisite to development

  • Published at 09:52 pm July 14th, 2020

It is only when our women are truly empowered, across all sectors, will Bangladesh reach its full potential as a nation

The news that 61% of female RMG workers have no control over their earned income is alarming, to say the least, and presents a moment of pause to reflect once again on where women stand in our society.

The results, that come from a survey of over 10,000 workers who were interviewed and were spearheaded by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem), in partnership with Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) paint a grim picture of the independence and freedom women have.

The importance of the RMG sector to Bangladesh does not need to be reiterated; it is by far and large our most significant export component, and it is a known fact also that women make up the majority of its workforce.

However, that the majority of these women -- who have literally been the ones on whose labour and hard work the country has prospered over the years -- lacked the freedom to make their own decisions about their own hard-earned money is indicative of just how much work remains to be done when it comes to empowering our women.

By now, Bangladesh’s ambitions for the future -- of becoming a middle-income country over the next few years and then eventually becoming a developed country -- is well-known and has been a cornerstone of the current government’s political intentions.

Yes, we have continued to achieve remarkable growth over the past decade and more. However, it is important to acknowledge that women -- in particular, women working in RMG factories -- have been a major component to this growth.

It is only when our women are truly empowered, across all sectors, socio-economic classes, and regions will Bangladesh reach its full potential as a nation.

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