Women’s Unpaid Household Works should be recognized and included in GDP – the speakers placed the demand in a seminar on “Reproductive Role and Women” on 14 May 2015 at VIP Lounge of national Press Club organized by Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS). Special guest of the program honorable MP Mahbub Ara Begum Gini, Whip of the Parliament of Bangladesh emphasized on the fighting spirit of women to achieve their rights. She also said that the recommendations of the study and discussions of the seminar will be discussed in the next meeting of the standing committee of MOWCA. Honorable MP Sanjida Khanam was present as special guest and delivered her speech in the meeting presided over by Ms. Rokeya Kabir, Executive Director of BNPS.
Dr. Sayema Haque Bidisha, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka presented the key findings of the study titled “Women’s Unrecognizing Contribution to the Economy & Impact of Awareness Raising Program on Women Empowerment”. She said that, though women spend a significant portion of their time in performing domestic chores and thereby play a crucial role towards the human capital development of the country (by providing food, care services), their contribution remains invisible.
The panel discussants of the seminar were Professor Dr. Inun Nahar, Dept. of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University; Professor Bazlul Haque Khondokar, Dept. of Economics, University of Dhaka; Professor Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, Director, Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka. They said that, though there are women from different class, profession, background in our society, the outlook to the works of women is all the same in all the spheres. The change is required in the mindset and outlook of this traditional patriarchal society. Awareness of the state machinery is required for further advancement. In Bangladesh only 36% women are involved in the labour market. To achieve the expected growth rate to become a middle income country, the involvement should be increased to 80% or more. We have to decrease the reproductive burden of women for that. They also emphasized on the monitoring of the effectiveness of gender budget.
Mr. AIM Golam Kibria, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Ms. Nasrin Jahan, Deputy Director, Directorate of Women Affairs were present in the seminar and put their valuable comments on the presented paper. They shared the view point of policy making section of the govt. regarding the issue. They also emphasized on awareness building of community people in the rural areas as well as technical education of women.
In the open discussion session, the participants made some valuable recommendations including development of day care center, gender equal education curriculum, continuing women movement, reproductive burden sharing of women, awareness raising of men, maternity allowance etc where Ms. Afroza Haque Rina, Dr. Hannana Begum, Ms. Momtaz Latif, Ms. Bonoshree Mitra, Mr. Anwar-Uz-Zaman Ratan, Mr. ANS Habibur Rahman, Ms. Aklima Khatun, Mr. Aminul Islam Sujan took part.