Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha (BNPS) and Institute for Environment and Development (IED) jointly placed theirs recommendations in a press conference to make the forthcoming national budget gender sensitive. As a part of BNPS’ on going advocacy campaign for gender budgeting this press conference titled, We Want Gender-Friendly National Budget, was organised on May 18, 2010 at the National Press Club, Dhaka.
Organizers urged the government to increase the budgetary allocation for women development from the existing three per cent to seven per cent in the next national budget.
Major focus of this year’s recommendations was on achieving Millennium Development Goals # 3 and # 5. New allotment for decreasing maternal death at childbirth, including the revitalisation of community health clinic, maternal health voucher scheme, awareness building programs and maternity leave for female workers in all sectors were demanded. Other major recommendations were:
- Sufficient numbers of female physicians should be sent to the upazila-level hospitals with increased allowances to improve the healthcare of women.
- To achieve the millennium development goal of women’s economic empowerment, there should be enactment of necessary laws covering important aspects, including vocational training, opportunities for income, women’s equal rights of property inheritance and control over moveable and immovable properties earned through market management.
- Tax break and tax holiday for the enterprises run by the women, where the investment was up to Tk 20 lakh.
- Supply of drinking water and gas for all households in order to reduce women’s unproductive workload.
- Direct election to women reserved seats in the parliament to ensure women empowerment in society and politics.
- Government support for English and computer training for women to develop their professional skills.
- Special scholarship for female student in the higher education.
BNPS executive director Rokeya Kabir, economist Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Ms. Shipa Hafiza (Director, Gender Justice, Diversity and Advocacy of BRAC), and executive director of IED Numan Ahmed Khan addressed the press conference.