Women self-sufficiency playing vital role alleviating poverty

“Poverty grabbed us always because my husband’s wage is not sufficient to lead the family, said Shafia, 30, hailed from Sirajganj, who had been reading up to class five from a rural school and got married with Saiful of her own village at the age of 13.

“Earlier, all our land properties have already been devoured by the Jamuna River…So that we have been forced to move toward the capital,” she said, adding “We have able to overcome poverty now after taking micro credit of Taka 20,000 from a non-government organisation.”

A little amount of money is being deposited and we are leading a happy life, Shafia, an inhabitant of Kamrangirchar area, said.

After taking the loan, Shafia established a tiny shop with assistance of a woman as she felt that her husband Saiful, who is working as an assistant of Mason, is not able to lead the family properly.

Gradually her tiny shop became spread and now she is earning Taka 10,000- 15,000 per month.

Like Shafia, there are several lakh women living in both– urban and rural- – areas across the country imparted training from different government and non-government organisations and trying to become self-relient after taking loan.

Recently, Bangladesh Planning Commission has published a report highlighting the latest situation of the country for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The poverty rate of the country has slashed minimum 50 percent in last one decade, said the report.

“The trend of self-sufficiency by the womenfolk has contributed a significant role in progress of the country’s poverty alleviation,” said Senior Secretary and Planning Commission member Dr Shamsul Alam.

“Women are being self-sufficient in financially side by side as they are working both outside and inside of their house and playing a vital role of the country’s economic progress,” he said.

Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina has achieved “Planet 50-50 Champion” and “Agent of Change” awards from the United Nations in 2016 for her significant contribution in women empowerment.

In addition to this, the government is working to ease the participation of women with political and economic activities as per the seventh five-year planning from 2016 to 2020.

On the other hand, the government is firm to implement all the activities including gender equality, women empowerment in achieving SDG and Beijing Platform for Action to ease all the discrimination against women.

Referring to significant success in poverty alleviation, Dr Alam said Bangladesh have already achieved significant success in the sector.

According to the latest survey, country’s poverty rate is now stands at 24.3 percent and the government is working to cut it by 13.5 percent within 2021.

“Bangladesh now become a role model of poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, women empowerment, creating scope of job, freedom of women movement, create scope for developed and higher education and women participation in law formulation and local level, said Programme Director of OXFAM in Bangladesh Chapter MB Akhter.

In 1991-92, women participation in non-farming sector was only 19.1 percent which declined to 14.6 percent in 2005-06 and now it reaches to 36 percent.