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Sheikh Hasina proposes 3 actions to advance women’s empowerment

  • Published at 06:01 am September 28th, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the UN headquarters in New York Focus Bangla</strong>
File Photo Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Focus Bangla

Gender-responsive policy-interventions are key among them

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasized the need to undertake three actions to advance women’s empowerment, including working to overcome gender stereotypes regarding women's abilities. 

She said this at Conference Room 3 of the United Nations (UN) Headquarters while addressing a high-level discussion on “Economic Growth Through Women’s Empowerment” on Thursday.

Hasina called for women's productivity to be enhanced by addressing gender-specific challenges, such as violence against women; creating equal opportunities for women in all sectors of life; and improving livelihoods through gender-responsive policy interventions, reports UNB.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was present at the event hosted by the President of Lithuania and Chair of the Council of Women Leaders Dalia Grybauskaite.

The prime minister said: "We've learned from our experience that economy gains significantly from empowerment of women. Greater gender equality reflects a better education and health system, higher per capita income, faster economic growth and greater competitiveness."

She said, globally, 50% of women aged 15 and above, are employed—compared to about 75% of men. She  mentioned that a large number of women are unemployed and women earn 10%-30% less than men for the same work.

The Prime Minister said a McKinsey Global Institute study suggests closing gender gaps in the labour market would add 12%-25% percent to global GDP by 2025.

She said the realization of “leaving no one behind” is contingent upon gender equality and women's economic empowerment. 

"Despite our commitments and efforts, gender gaps around the world remain large, pervasive, and persistent," she added.

Hasina, while speaking about women’s empowerment in Bangladesh, said: “The government has prioritized various programs and policies, especially for women, that have not only left positive impacts on their economic empowerment but also reinforced their status in society.

Here, women’s empowerment has been identified as the most significant determinant of the outstanding economic progress of the country. Our aim is to focus on decreasing the gender gap in targeted sectors like: education, employment, business and policy making." 

The prime minister said: “There are 72 women members in the current Parliament of Bangladesh, while the speaker, the leader of the House, the deputy leader of the House, and the leader of the opposition, are all women.”

According to the World Economic Forum's 2018 report, Bangladesh is Asia's second most gender-equal country.

Women are receiving education free of cost in public institutions, up to Class-XII, and they are also provided with easy access to microsavings.

Currently, there are 20 million women employed in the agriculture, service, and industrial sectors in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi women hold high positions in the judiciary and administration, plus, they are making history as part of  UN peacekeeping operations.

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