Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | ePaper

Provisioning a better and respectful livelihood for women

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N.S.M Muzzammel Huq :
Bangladesh has achieved enormous development gains in different socio-economic dimensions during the last decade. The country has already achieved most of the Millenium Development Goals and set targets to achieve Sustainable Development goals in her national perspective.  Bangladesh has been recognized for halving the number of people living in poverty and for advances in gender equality. The country achieved gender parity in primary and secondary school enrollment, improved completion rates for girls, significantly reduced maternal mortality rates and continued to enact laws, and policies that provide a framework for protecting and promoting women's rights.
Women's right is today widely considered as one of the most pressing human rights issue. Even since the late 1970's, with the adoption of the convention on the Eliminate of all forms of Discrimination against women by the UN General Assembly (CEDAW, 1979), and in the recent past putting emphasis on gender equality and women's empowerment in the MDGs, the role and potentials of marginalized women in the eradication of worldwide poverty has truly been brought to the tone front of the National women Development policy of Bangladesh and the International development agenda.
Once upon a time the women were liked to be seen in the homestead works by the society. But with the passage time, spread of education and awareness the women have how started feeling that income generation and better livelihood and respect are intermingled and place women in decision making position. Fifty to sixty years ago the attitude borne by the common people regarding working women was not either respectable nor encouraging. The women who were in the entertainment media were looked into a low profile and critically. The professions normally women have to choose are : Air hostess personal assistant, telephone operators, Nurse, Sales girl, model etc. But now the situation has started changing. Women are competing along with male very successfully and by this time they have already proved their academic and professional excellence in different profession. Now women are becoming secretaries, Director Generals, Army officers, Deputy commissioners, Air force officers, Naval officers, efficient police officers and officers of different civil services posts. Not only that in specialized jobs, engineers, doctors, marine engineering, private companies, everywhere they are keeping proves of their success. In no way they are less capable than their counterparts. In education sector, they perform very excellent performances. In the rural areas the scenario may be lightly different. But means of livelihood and earning of women have started giving then voice in the family and contributing in the national development process. They are now taking decisions with their male members. Garment sector has opened a wide scope for employment of girls allowing income generation and elevating their livelihood.
But the levels of women in Bangladesh in general and rural communities in particular, are marked by a great degree of vulnerability that negatively impacts their ability to lead a life free of everyday struggle. Food insecurity restricted social and economic mobility limited amounts of freedom due religions moral codes and harmful practices such as child marriage, dowdy, polygamy, domestic violence and divorce etc still remain a hindrance air the way of women's participation for livelihood. Extreme poverty and limited livelihood options, combined with a deep-rooted patriarchal socio political build up legitimized by religion are main regions of adversity. Resources are also limited to alleviate their situation. The fundamental importance of male stewardship make it safe to assume that although women are effected and socially contrived to forgo formal employment, they cannot do without a guardian. Thai is why with all the best wish for going into income generation activities women are in a web of depending and socio economic segregation. Still women's worth is eventuated on the basis of reproductive rather than productive capacities. This belief system is deep rooted within rural societies in Bangladesh. So efforts towards a durable change must take into account.
The scenario of women's role in our society is stigmatized by traditionally assigned and confined to the domestic domain. Their almost fourteen hour work within household is sent processing the harvest, cooking, cleaning, rearing livestock's and homestead gardening is morally recognized as economic work Despite being the defector manages of the households, women have no say the decision making. For expanding the means of livelihood, its slope and opportunities the women's mobility and access to livelihood options should include social security and freer step outside their home, should be ensured. Here most important thing is increasing self confidence with self assurance and empowerment. From a very early age, women are instilled with the nation that their inferiority to mains in implicit, and that things such as domestic violence and the necessity of obeying one's husband are in alienable facts of life. Here voice building and relenthen advocacy will positively impact the lives of women. If women earn independently in order to achieve quality then that must be done. Women are suitable for any profession including Judge Barrister, magistrate, barker, businessmen.
So to achieve maximum impact future development initiatives need to focus on occupations that are acceptable for women, while also enabling then to more out of their traditional and underprivileged domestic roles. We should not forget to perceive that economically empowered, women are assets for themselves, for males (family) for the society and contributors in the national development process. How can we think a vision of a country keeping half of her population lagging behind? So let is empower our citizens, leaving no one behind.
(PID-UNICEF Feature)

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