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OP-ED: Women at the centre of the fight

  • Published at 06:48 pm September 4th, 2021
Girl Power

In politics, business, and other areas, women are taking risks to improve things in this pandemic


The world has changed since Covid-19. We are doing things we could hardly imagine before -- attending classes from home, getting food just by clicking a button, earning from a website. We are doing all the things that were once impossible, but are now within our reach.

Time creates situations and problems, and comes up with its own solution. Even 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. But that has completely changed today. Today, women all around the world are achieving their dreams and goals. Even in Covid-19, it’s not any different. In addition to fulfilling their professional responsibilities at home, women in Bangladesh and other parts of the world are coping with immense strength, courage, and patience, by managing their families and helping their children in online classes.

Women leaders have also played a great role in tackling the pandemic. All those countries that have fought successfully against Covid-19 have one thing in common: Women leaders. Countries such as Denmark, Iceland, Finland, New Zealand, Germany, and Slovakia are said to be relatively more successful in controlling Covid-19. In each of these countries, women are in charge. They have taken quick steps to ensure that the people follow the hygiene rules based on the advice of experts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fact-finding mission has been praised. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ability to deal sympathetically and communicate effectively with the public has been called a “masterclass of leadership in time of crisis.” It will take more time to understand exactly how successfully women dealt with the pandemic. 

The crisis challenged people economically. Many during Covid-19 lost their jobs. But those who found holes in the crisis will relish it forever. The Covid-19 crisis accelerated an expansion of e-commerce. At the heart of Covid-19 is online business. Many women who have lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic are using Facebook to run their own businesses. 

Farida Parvin Shako used to run a beauty salon and a fitness centre. Her business suffered badly after the coronavirus pandemic hit the country earlier this year. The 45-year-old single mother tried to find a job to make ends meet, but it was not easy.

“I lost hope after getting rejected for many jobs. But, I needed to make money to feed my daughter and my mother. So I decided to create a Facebook page for food delivery,” she said. Through her Facebook page, people anywhere in Dhaka can order homemade food. Sultana, another budding entrepreneur, decided to launch her Facebook page to sell saplings. 

Her husband lost his job due to the coronavirus crisis, so she wanted to help her family: “I started my business with only Tk1,000, my savings at the time. My husband and I buy plants from different places and deliver them to those who order them online,” Sultana said. Her business is still in the initial phase, but Sultana is eager to make it big. 

Women are empowering themselves and improving society during this pandemic. Not just working women, but all others who decided to take business initiatives online. This shows how things have changed, and how at a time of crisis women are fighting against it and winning. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support and love from their families. The affection one receives from family is more than encouragement to go on.     

Faeeza Tasmeem Neera is a freelance contributor.

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