During the Covid-19 pandemic, women have been hit especially hard by economic downturns
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s pledge to increase women’s participation in the workforce to be equal to men by 2041 is a most commendable one, one that shows that our nation is headed in the right direction in terms of gender parity and, subsequently, sustainable development.
This commitment comes at a crucial time -- during the Covid-19 pandemic, women have been hit especially hard by economic downturns, not only facing unemployment, but also increasing incidents of domestic violence and abuse.
As the PM has rightfully said, this could very well reverse our hard-earned achievements over the last decade, which has allowed millions of women across the nation to find employment, become independent, and hold positions of power in government and private organizations.
Women are integral to our success story as a nation, becoming crucial players in several industries, such as RMG and agriculture, paving the path for our development and impressive economic growth.
We must renew our efforts to protect women against the uncertainties of the pandemic and do everything in our power, both as citizens of this country and as members of public office, to ensure women’s continued progress in employment and in life.
Bangladesh has done a tremendous job of prioritizing girls’ education and women’s economic and political empowerment in the past, and we must keep on doing so, now more than ever before.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are absolutely essential components of a nation striving for middle-income status -- let us get to work ensuring that we remain on that hard-won path.