Overcoming the disruptions caused by the pandemic, particularly in women’s economic empowerment, will require strong and visionary leadership, and a whole of society approach towards inclusive and resilient recovery, said a Bangladesh envoy posted at the UN.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Rabab Fatima made the statement while speaking at a side event on “Women's Economic Empowerment: Good Practices in Covid-19 Response and Recovery” organised as part of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women virtually on Wednesday.
“We’re fortunate to have Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lead us from the front in this battle against the pandemic,” she said.
The event was jointly organised by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, El Salvador and Rwanda to the UN and the International Trade Centre.
It gathered women entrepreneurs from three cross-regional countries who shared their experiences of resilient recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apart from the Bangladesh Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of El Salvador Ambassador Egriselda López and the Permanent Representative of Rwanda Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza presented various recovery initiatives and stimulus measures announced by their respective governments targeting the women. ITC’s New York representative moderated the panel discussion.
Referring to the compounded economic impacts of the pandemic on women globally, Ambassador Fatima underscored that pandemic response and recovery efforts must take women’s particular vulnerability into account.
She also stressed that women must be able to play an equal and effective role in the efforts to help societies build back better.
Ambassador Rabab Fatima said recognising the disproportionate impact of Covid on women, including those employed in the informal and service sectors, RMG workers and returnee women migrant workers, the Bangladesh government has announced stimulus packages and targeted support measures.
“We’ve also announced interest and mortgage-free loans for women entrepreneurs, and providing skill development projects in all districts in an effort to support women to recover from job and income losses, including through re-skilling training, alternative livelihood opportunities, and facilitating their access to digital economy” she added.
Ambassador Rabab Fatima acknowledged the role and contributions of Bangladesh’s private sector, civil society and media in this regard.
Kohinoor Yeasmin, CEO of Tarango, participated in the event as a panelist and shared how her organisation sustained its business despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown through home-based production and digital marketing.
She also recognised how the government funded financial packages helped her pay the salaries to the workers during the lockdown.