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Female participation in non-agri sector: Bangladesh better off than India, Pakistan

  • Published at 02:38 pm December 22nd, 2020
Single woman in Dhaka
File photo: Most of the private hostels for single working women in Dhaka city have been forced to shut down during the lockdown that was imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

In the non-agri sector of Bangladesh 20.7% of the employees are women

Among the three countries with a comparatively big economy and population in South Asia, a higher number of women is participating in non-agriculture jobs in Bangladesh, than in India and Pakistan, finds a latest report.

The Human Development Report 2020 titled "The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene" by the United Nations Development Programme published globally six days ago and in Bangladesh on Monday morning, came up with the ranking. 

The Life Course Gender Gap data of the report says 20.7% of the employees in this sector are women in Bangladesh while the share is 15.9% in India and 11% in Pakistan. 

According to the Gender Development Index, estimated gross national income per capita (in Purchasing Power Parity -- PPP, in theory, 1 PPP dollar has the same purchasing power in the domestic economy of a country as $1 (USD) has in the US economy), is PPP$2,873 for Bangladeshi female employees while it is PPP$2,331 for Indian female employees. Income for Pakistani employees stands at PPP$1,393.

Ironically, the presence of women at mid and senior management is less in Bangladesh than India. According to the Women’s Empowerment data of the report, some 11.5% people are female at mid or senior level management in Bangladesh while it is 13.7% in India.

Only 4.2% employment is occupied by female participants in Pakistan. 

Same scenario could be found in the case of women with accounts in financial institutes or mobile money service providers. This indicates how many women have been empowered in a family and is enjoying money spending rights. 

In Bangladesh, 35.8% women have at least one such account while it is 76.6% in India, more than double from Bangladesh. Only 7% of the Pakistani women are enjoying the right. 

UNDP warns that multidimensional poverty would turn into a crisis if no inclusive measures are taken soon.

According to a report in 2019, 24.6% of Bangladesh’s population was multidimensionally poor, with a further 18.2% classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.

In India 27.9% of their population was multidimensionally poor, with a further 19.3% classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.  

The situation is much worse in Pakistan. In the country, 38.3% population was multidimensionally poor, with a further 12.9% classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.  

Again, the report has mentioned that Bangladesh’s 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) value falls by 24.4% when discounted for inequality in the HDI dimensions. India’s HDI falls by 26.4% for inequality and the losses stand at 31.1% for Pakistan.

The female HDI value is 10% lower than for males (for Nepal, this difference is about 7%; for Pakistan, markedly higher at about 25%).