The theme for the International Women’s Day, 2021 is: ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world’ – a relevant reminder that women must play a greater role for the betterment of society. Undoubtedly, our visionary Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has worked to tilt world opinion in favour of Bangladesh getting support for the developing status. With a female prime minister and several powerful women at the helm of state affairs, the expectation for women’s empowerment in Bangladesh is far greater. Though our women are advancing at a faster pace than ever before, newer challenges are coming to the fore with more women entering the workforce. The problems need to be duly addressed.
Working women are homemakers, mothers and daughters with responsibilities to children, parents and family members. They need childcare facilities, which are insufficient and inadequate even in the capital Dhaka, what to talk about the rest of the country! Most working women cannot afford the private childcare facilities available. Affordable quality childcare facilities run by the state can increase the productivity of our female workforce by reducing their worries. Similar facilities for care of elderly parents are also a requirement for the busy working women of today.Physical safety and security of women everywhere is of utmost import. As more and more women are venturing out of their homes for work and education, they are falling prey to abuse, rape, violence and even killing. Ensuring the physical, emotional and social safety of women from domestic abuse within the family environment can greatly help in their rapid progress. Ensuring safety is essential to enable women to have higher goals. If needed, we must push the achievable boundaries of our security forces.
The participation of our rural women helped turn the fortune of Bangladesh towards a positive direction within a few decades. Despite many barriers to their advancements, women have progressed a long way. Imagine how much more they could achieve for humanity and Bangladesh with a more secure and women-friendly environment!
The contribution of women towards the rapid growth of Bangladesh’s economy is well known. Therefore, their direct and indirect participation in the economy must equally benefit the women workforce - physically, emotionally, socially and financially. The state must create a secure women-friendly environment to enable women perform leadership roles in addition to their traditional ones for greater development. Give women what they need; they will give more to the society.