• Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Budget FY22: Women and Children Affairs Ministry budget hiked by 8.6%

  • Published at 10:11 pm June 3rd, 2021
Women and Children Affairs Ministry’s
Women and Children Affairs Ministry’s Collected

VAT exemption for local sanitary napkin production a big win, gender experts say

A sum of Tk4,191 crore has been proposed for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs for the 2021-22 fiscal year, an 8.6% increase on the Tk3,860 crore allocation in the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

In addition to the increased allocation for the ministry, gender and hygiene experts have hailed VAT exemptions to promote the local production of sanitary napkins as a big win for women.

In his budget speech for FY2021-22 in parliament on Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said: “I propose a VAT exemption at the local manufacturing stage on the production of sanitary napkins to protect the health of women. 

“I also propose a two-year extension to the VAT exemption on the import of certain raw materials used for the production of sanitary napkins and diapers,” he added.

To promote employment of members of the third gender community, the finance minister proposed tax rebates for organizations that employed at least 10% of their workforce or more than 100 employees  from the third gender.

Also Read- Something for everyone leads to large deficit

Hasin Jahan, country director of WaterAid Bangladesh, told Dhaka Tribune that women’s menstrual health had suffered due to the pandemic-induced poverty in Bangladesh.

“Many women and girls have been forced to go back to unhygienic clothes from sanitary napkins because buying menstrual health products has become a financial burden for them. If the government decides to exempt locally produced sanitary pads from VAT, it is indeed commendable,” she said.  

She also said the pandemic had brought the importance of handwashing to the forefront, pointing out that access to water for women in public places was crucial.

“The government needs to see this [hand washing] issue through the gender lens. Women need safe running water when they are in public places for hygiene. The government should have allocated more money to set up hand washing facilities in public spaces,” the WaterAid Bangladesh country director added.  

Tania Haque, professor at the women and gender studies department of Dhaka University, said increasing allocations for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs alone were not enough to consider a budget gender friendly.

Aslo Read- Budget FY22: Prices up, prices down

“There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to designing a gender friendly budget. The whole budget should address gender issues through intersectionality, as we need to see gender as a spectrum rather than a men and women binary,” she told this correspondent. 

The finance minister also hinted at establishing day care centres for children, expanding child development centres for extremely poor and marginalised children, and implementing projects on employment generation for destitute and helpless women in the southern districts of the country.

Tania Haque told Dhaka Tribune an allocation should be given for the establishment of day care centres for working class women in urban areas as well. 

She stressed increasing the budget for research on gender-based topics, gender friendly infrastructure and female hostels. 

“Women empowerment is not just about training them in e-commerce and other income-generating activities. Women empowerment is heavily dependent on their mobility.  If our infrastructure is not women friendly, women cannot go out for work even if they have the skills necessary for such work,” she said.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail