Economic empowerment of women was the key focus of the recent visit by Royal Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and former Danish Development Cooperation minister Ulla Tornaes to Bangladesh.
The visit took place from April 4-6.
The Danish princess and Tornaes visited rural areas of Barisal and ready-made garment factories in Gazipur to witness the reach of Danish development aid on the lives of rural women, said a press release.
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Danish Princess Mary visits a village in Bangladesh and chats with its young residents Dhaka Tribune
Accompanied by Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael Hemniti Winther, the delegation visited a rural infrastructure project in Barisal on April 5, where, in partnership with Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), many underprivileged local women are employed in a project on building climate resilient roads.
The delegation also visited the Danish supported Farmer Field School where women are taught new techniques and management of agriculture and livestock, which has helped them earn a higher income.
The crown princess and the former Danish minister asked the women about the challenges in their daily lives and future aspirations.
Princess Mary said: “The women I have just met confirm that women are critical drivers of development. Despite living under the threat of climate change and other hardships, these strong women continue to strive for a better future for themselves and their families.”
The crown princess is a patron of UNFPA and an advocate for women empowerment.
Also, while in Barisal, Ulla Tornaes announced that Denmark will commit an additional $4.4m to support projects on building climate resilience in Bangladesh.
“I am proud that Denmark will support local communities in Bangladesh to overcome adverse effects of climate change, which threatens their livelihood,” the former Danish minister said.
On the final day of their visit, the delegation visited Auko-Tex, an RMG factory in Gazipur. Aside from its production facilities, they also visited its day-care facility, where working mothers can bring their children, and a medical facility which provides special care for women.
“As bread winners, working women are made self-reliant and less dependent on others. They not only improve their own lives but also invest more in the family when they are earning. We must therefore ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all women,” she said.
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