Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s approaches to reducing poverty, empowering women, adapting to climate change: WB President
As a long-standing partner, World Bank Group President David Malpass has said that they will support Bangladesh as it navigates a challenging global environment on its way to reaching upper-middle-income status by 2031. “I am confident that with the right set of policies and timely action, Bangladesh can achieve its growth aspirations,” he said while speaking at the celebration of 50 years of partnership with Bangladesh on May 1. The World Bank president said Bangladesh’s remarkable journey was made possible by the indomitable energy and resilience of its people and a national will to build a prosperous nation. Following the celebration, Malpass also tweeted: “Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s innovative approaches to reducing poverty, empowering women, and adapting to climate change.” Read: Stay with us in implementing future physical & social mega projects: PM Hasina to WB “We are proud of our partnership and look forward to opening the next chapter together with you,” he said at the celebration, addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Three lessons stand out from Bangladesh’s development experience and can inspire other countries: empowering women and girls, investing in people and connectivity, and moving decisively on climate adaptation and resilience, said the World Bank President. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and World Bank Group President David Malpass celebrated 50 years of partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank at the institution’s headquarters in Washington DC. The partnership has helped lift millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty and supported the country’s economic growth and development. Read: Bangladesh, World Bank sign US$ 2.25 billion loan agreement comprising 5 projects The World Bank is providing Bangladesh with $2.25 billion of financing to improve regional connectivity, boost disaster preparedness to address inland flooding, transition to green and climate-resilient development, strengthen environmental management and green investment, and help the micro-enterprise sector become less polluting and more climate-resilient. Since its independence in 1971, Bangladesh has transformed from one of the poorest countries to achieving lower-middle income status in 2015. The country is now among the world’s fastest-growing economies. “In 1971, when Bangladesh was born, many development experts were sceptical about the country’s future. The aspirations germinated by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and, our people have shown the world that with determination, it is possible to overcome even the hardest challenges. Bangladesh has transformed its economy and made it more resilient as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “The journey was not always easy, but we have never lost courage. In the past 50 years, the World Bank remained a steadfast development partner and supported our aspirations. We hope to work together with the World Bank as Bangladesh progresses to achieve higher-income country status by 2041,” she said. Read More: External pressure behind World Bank's withdrawal from Padma Bridge, says PM Hasina urging it to look into future Malpass reaffirmed the World Bank’s strong support for Bangladesh and its people as the country navigates unprecedented global challenges. “As Bangladesh’s largest development partner, we welcome its progress in income growth and poverty reduction. We are committed to continuing our support to enable the private sector, create new job opportunities, broaden the tax base, strengthen the financial sector, and build the country’s resilience to economic and climate shocks,” said Malpass. “Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s development successes. The country stands out for its innovative approaches to reducing poverty in record time, empowering women, achieving wide-spread electricity access, and adapting to climate change,” he added. The Prime Minister and the World Bank President inaugurated a multimedia photo exhibition depicting Bangladesh’s development story over the past five decades and joined a seminar to reflect on 50 years of partnership. Read More: World Bank approves $1.25bn financing in 3 projects for Bangladesh The World bank President also thanked the Prime Minister and the Bangladeshi people for hosting the displaced Rohingya people. Bangladesh’s provision of shelter to more than 1.1 million Rohingya who fled from violence in Myanmar since 2017 saved thousands of lives. “We will continue to work with you in providing support to the Rohingya,” he said, adding that the World Bank has mobilized US$590 million in grant financing, with support from Canada and in close collaboration with the UN family and others, to help provide local communities in Cox’s Bazar, and the displaced Rohingya population, with healthcare, education, basic services, and infrastructure. “Several steps can improve the sustainability and impact of the programs: enhanced livelihood and education opportunities, resilient shelters, stronger inclusion of the Rohingyas into the national systems for service delivery, and leveraging government investments on the island of Bhasan Char,” the World bank President said. Read More: Bangladesh a model country for World Bank: Momen briefs media on PM’s US visit.
Fazilatun Nessa Indira highlights good practices of Bangladesh in advancing women empowerment at UN
Following the footprint of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh has made significant strides in advancing women empowerment in many areas including in the field of technology use under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira was quoted as saying at a Ministerial Roundtable in the United Nations on March 7. She is attending the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Stating various policy initiatives of Bangladesh, State Minister Indira shared with the Ministerial delegations of other countries that after successful “Digital Bangladesh” campaign, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has launched the ‘Smart Bangladesh’ campaign, where the entire economy of Bangladesh will be operated with the support of technology. Women will have equal opportunities to engage themselves in this technology-driven development journey of Bangladesh, she further added. In her remarks, the State Minister highlighted that over 5000 digital Centers have been established across the country where 50% service providers are women. She also shared other best practices in which women were given priority such as the receipt of salary by RMG workers – 80% of whom are women, through mobile services; empowerment of around 10.25 million of rural women across the country through ICT based signature project “Info Lady”; introduction of a mobile app named ‘Joy’ and the two 24 hours national hotlines109 and 999 to prevent and protect women from violence and sexual harassment. These good practices were highly applauded by the international community. Referring to the target of Bangladesh to increase women’s participation in ICT to 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent participation by 2041, the State Minister sought support and cooperation from United Nations and development partners to achieve these goals. Prior to the Ministerial Roundtable, the State Minister attended a high-level event on "Getting it Right from the Start: Empowering Women in Green STEM through the Education Pipeline” organized by the Permanent Mission of Australia and a Ministerial breakfast arranged by the World Bank Group. Earlier on 06 March, she met Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir and President of Swiss Federation Alain Berset at receptions hosted by the Permanent Mission of Iceland and Switzerland for the visiting Ministers. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body of the United Nations exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The current session of the Commission started on 06 March and will continue till 17 March 2023.
Ensuring young women's equal access to education central to gender equality: US
The US has said ensuring young women's equal access to education is central to gender equality. Women and girls have the right to learn, innovate, compete, and succeed in the global economy, it added. The US is working to make this vision a reality through its Global Women's Economic Security strategy. From January 21 to 22, US Senior Official to the Secretary of State in the Office of Global Women's Issues Kat Fotovat participated in the 10th Commencement Ceremony of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chattogram where she delivered remarks and met with students and faculty. Read More: FBCCI signs MoU with AUW to award scholarships to 30 students annually
HSBC, AUW launch one-year master of science in apparel, retail management programme
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and The Asian University for Women (AUW) together Saturday (January 21, 2023) announced the launch of the "HSBC-AUW School of Apparel and Retail Management," a one-year master of science in apparel and retail management programme. The programme will be guided by a global academic committee chaired by Dipak C Jain, former dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also served as the dean of INSEAD in France. The HSBC-AUW School of Apparel and Retail Management will prepare young female professionals with expertise in fashion, merchandising, supply chain management, brand management, and occupational health and safety issues, said a media statement Saturday. Read: Diesel import from India via pipeline from June: Nasrul Hamid The programme was launched at the "HSBC-AUW School of Apparel: Leading the Future of Fashion" at Chattogram hotel. Education Minister Dipu Moni sent a video message to the event. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, AUW founder Kamal Ahmad, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Faruque Hassan, former Denmark prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, US state department senior official Katrina Fotovat, The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam, and HSBC Bangladesh CEO Md Mahbub ur Rahman, joined the programme. Read: 5th BMCCI LegalTalk seminar on tax law, foreign investment held AUW Vice-Chancellor Rubana Huq said: "Today, the apparel industry in Bangladesh needs a homegrown talent pool, which will serve the needs of the sector. So, to prepare cohorts ready to take on the challenge of employability in Bangladesh, AUW is happy to launch the School of Apparel with HSBC Bangladesh." Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking (South and Southeast Asia) at HSBC said: "The global apparel industry is evolving rapidly alongside emerging technologies, changing consumption patterns and an increasing focus on sustainability." "We are proud to partner with the Asian University for Women to launch the HSBC-AUW School of Apparel and the Masters programme to equip future talent with the expertise to drive continued innovation in Bangladesh's largest export industry. Importantly, this programme supports the professional and leadership development of women, providing better access to opportunities through inclusion and fostering long-term growth for Bangladesh and its communities." Read More: In the era of RMG, showcasing the Majestic Silks of Bangladesh Academic excellence, industry relevance and social significance would be the defining features of the programme. The graduates would be technologically savvy, have superior communication skills and gain up-to-date, contemporary knowledge and skills needed for apparel and retail management. Under the programme, 13 courses will be offered to students of AUW. And 50 students will be enrolled in the inaugural year. HSBC will help set up the school by designing Mac labs and providing support for curriculum and faculty, IT and class infrastructure and education materials. Read More: Bangladesh to become 9th largest consumer market globally by 2030: HSBC
Faridpur woman earning Tk 1 lakh per month from vermicompost
Once Tania Parvin, and her four-member family, had to struggle to make ends meet. One day she saw a video on YouTube on how to make vermicompost at home, and her journey to economic emancipation started. With the help of the local Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), she began her production with a three-ring slab in 2017 after receiving training. Gradually her production expanded. “Twelve to 15 tons of fertilizer is produced from my 36 units every month. I had only 12 units in the beginning. The retail price per kg is Tk 15 and the wholesale price is TK12,” she said. Read more: Jute sticks: A new source of income for Faridpur farmers She now earns Tk 100,000 per month by producing the organic fertilizer. Tania is now selling this fertilizer in various parts of the country. She said, the demand for this fertilizer is increasing by the day.
Coca-Cola supports economic empowerment of marginalised women
Coca-Cola International Beverages Private Limited (IBPL) gave more than 30 sewing machines to the deputy commissioner of Mymensingh for the economic empowerment of marginalised women. The women from Bhaluka and Trishal lost their jobs during the pandemic. The district administration along with Mymensingh Youth Training Centre arranged a training programme for these women to make them financially independent and enable them to earn a good livelihood. Also Read: Coca-Cola Bangladesh releases maiden Sustainability Highlights 2020 As a part of its corporate social responsibilities, Coca-Cola offered help to these women with sewing machines at a programme Monday in Mymensingh. Coca-Cola IBPL Managing Director Tapas Kumar Mondal said, "We have offered support to the marginal and financially challenged people with various programmes as part of corporate social responsibilities, especially, during the Covid-19 outbreak." "We have stepped further to accelerate developments of rural women in Bangladesh." Read Coca-Cola Bangladesh releases maiden Sustainability Highlights 2020
Women’s Financial Literacy and Ability to Save Money: What’s the Connection?
Recently a survey shows that a huge number of women have little or no money in their bank accounts. About 40% of women have $100 or less in their savings compared with 26% of men. As a woman do you ever think why it is tough for women to save more than men? Have you ever tried to overcome this challenge? If not, no worries. We are here to let you know the reasons and ways to change it. Why Can’t Females Make Good Savings Like Males? There might be many reasons why women became able to save less money than men. The survey shows about 40% of women are indifferent to reporting having less in their checking accounts. They allow easily having their minimum checking account balance reach $100 or less while not more than 28% of men do not permit to have such a low minimum balance. Secondly, usually, women earn less than men. So, naturally, they cannot save as much money as men can do. Moreover, in many societies the women need to leave work or jobs due to rear children or to take care of older family-members. Generally, men do not take these responsibilities. So, it is clear that in general women are incapable of making good savings because they don’t get the scope to make a huge income from jobs, business or other sectors. Read 10 Greatest Female Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century On top of that, societies or families do not put as much emphasis on the income of women as they do in the case of men. Therefore, many young women may not feel the urge to save money.
USAID launches $5 mn project to empower women in RMG factories
US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a $5 million project titled “Women Thrive in Bangladesh” to empower women who are working in readymade garment factories in Bangladesh. With the US government support, CARE Bangladesh will implement the new project and expand professional development opportunities for over 100,000 women working in sector by equipping them with market-oriented leadership skills. Read USAID: Some structural issues to be fixed in Bhasan Char
Speakers want more financial access to women for their empowerment
Women in Bangladesh should be given greater role in making decisions on their own financial matters as part of their empowerment, a discussion was told on Wednesday. The discussion on a subject called ‘Break the Bias for a gender-equal world’ was organized by think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), to mark the International Women’s Day. Read: Women’s entry into banks and NBFIs declines amid 10% quota withdrawal Speakers at the event said women sometimes lost their control on monthly salary even, as her male family members, including husbands, often operate their bank accounts. Old women can’t always take decision on how to spend the government assistance given to them as they are dominated by male relatives, they said. Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairperson of BRAC and a former advisor to the caretaker government spoke as the special guest. Alexandra BergVon Linde, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden, Bangladesh; Winnie Estrup Petersen, Ambassador, Embassy of Denmark, Syed Nasim Manzur, Director, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and Managing Director, Apex Footwear Limited; Dr Firdausi Qadri, Emeritus Scientist, ICDDRB, Barrister Rashna Imam, Managing Partner, Akhtar Imam & Associates; Humaira Azam, Managing Director and CEO, Trust Bank; Taslima Akter Lima, President, Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati and Ms Rizvana Hredita, also addressed the event. Read:Google celebrates Int’l Women’s Day with doodle Professor Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow of CPD chaired the function. Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD moderated the discussion. The programme were attended by a number female professionals and entrepreneurs, representatives of women’s organisations and media, heads of missions and embassies in Bangladesh and members of the civil society.
Act quickly to stop rollback of women’s progress: Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the world needs to act urgently to stop the rollback of hard-earned women empowerment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our hard-earned progress is at risk of rollback. We need to act urgently to stop this. For that, we must place women at the front and centre of Covid recovery,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while addressing the High Level Meeting on Women Leaders conveyed by the President of the General Assembly Volkan Bozkır at the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday. She highlighted three points — localising the Advisory Board on Gender Equality, nurturing women-led organizations and convening a leaders’ summit to reinforce common agenda for gender equality -- to bring women progress back on track. About the summit, Hasina said, “All leaders – not just us - should join and present concrete commitments for advancing gender equality.” The Prime Minister said the Covid impacts have been especially hard for women. “Unpaid care work has increased. Gender-based violence has risen. Unicef anticipates additional ten million child marriages before the end of this decade.” Read: Covid: A catalyst for women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh! In Bangladesh, she said, emphasis has been put on women empowerment. In their political empowerment, Bangladesh ranked 7th in the world. Increased number of women is joining the workforce.