Sustainability Development Goals, also known as SDG are the glimpse of hope mostly for developing nations like ours. While the global disparity exists and many nations have moved forward, there are nations around the world still dealing with the urgency of eradicating hunger, attaining proper education for both the genders, gender equality in all the fields. SDGs have also been designed to save the planet, imposing proper environmental rules ensuring less damage. The severity of the creation of SDG was reflected through the quote stated by the immediate past United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, "There can be no plan B, because there is no Planet B." The 17 SDG global goals formulate together towards dealing with the crucial predicament present in our current world, consisting a target of 169 nations.
Achieving the goals by a sole entity can turn to a never ending process. According to UN, private sector plays a fundamental role in achieving the SDGs. Experts suggest that, now is the best time to mobilize business community to make the world and surrounding better. In a country like Bangladesh, there are multiple companies working towards the achievement of these goals. However, to achieve these vital goals along with other SDGs, corporations need proper focus at a point where they can have maximum impact. In Bangladesh, the point of focus should be Gender Equality, Good Health & Well-being, Decent Work & Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, Climate Action and Partnerships for the Goals.
Gender Equality (SDG 5):
Women have started making their marks for quite a while now. Women entrepreneurs constitute less than 10% of the total business entrepreneurs. It is noticeable that despite many barriers, a new women entrepreneur class has arisen in the country taking on the challenge to work in a male-dominated, competitive and complex economic and business environment.
Here's some vital information according to an Economic Policy Paper on Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh:
- 80% of the RMG workers in our country are women
- RMG contribution in GDP: 5% (4% female Contribution)
- Urban Housewives 24.5%
- Rural Housewives 18.8%
- Urban employed 2.5%
- Rural employed 7.3%
According to the Report on the Bangladesh Literacy Survey, 2010.BBS-
- 200 thousand women are working abroad
- 8 Million are working young women ( As of 2010)
- Women un-employment rate is 5.80% (Previous 7% - 2006)
- Total women in Job sector- 10.62 Million
- 9 Million new women are in job sector
Women in Bangladesh face heavy discrimination and violence leads to the inability to become self-sufficient. Hence, they should receive the utmost support from the existing organizations in Bangladesh. To present a case, insurance companies such as Green Delta Insurance Company (GDIC) work towards insuring gender equality. They have developed an innovative solution to address the problems of women and ensure their empowerment through an inclusive insurance scheme named, Nibedita. The insurance scheme is designed for South Asian Women, safeguarding their economic and social empowerment.
The women in Bangladesh fall as victims to domestic violence, sexual harassment and many such form of subjugation. Nibedita, apart from providing insurance benefits, offers trauma stipends for the victims in Bangladesh. The trauma allowance is allotted for the victims of Acid violence, Rape and road bully. The role such allowances play in the life of the women in Bangladesh is incredible. Women tend to face the stigma after becoming a victim to any discriminatory acts from work places, along with the stigma from society. These acts include sexual offense to acid attacks to eve teasing. Often times victims are excluded from availing the opportunities only because they have been through trauma. In a circumstance like this, trauma allowances can help these victims remain self-sufficient.
Nibedita benefits are available for women between the ages of 14 to 65 years old. Women are provided with good coverage ranging from BDT 100,000 to BDT 1,000,000 for a minimum annual premium of BDT 580 only.
Achieving proper socio economic development in Bangladesh without the development of women to a better lifestyle through health, capacity building, lifestyle, financial services and other value added services is problematic, as 52% of our population consists of women. Therefore, when designing an application catering to the needs of women, keeping the flowing factors into consideration is important, which was well attained by Nibedita. Since accidents can always take place in split seconds, GDIC has partnered with various service providers to give the Nibedita policy holders special offers and fast-track services and provided its users with a feature called the panic button.
Roaming around on streets whenever it is dark is deemed to be dangerous and irresponsible by our society. However, for a woman earning her own bed or even for a women believing in free lifestyle, this becomes a routine. Application such as Nibedita ensure their security in times like these through their panic button. A simple click on the panic button sends signals to all the possible rescue locations for the woman, including her relatives, GDIC Head Office and security service provide. Once the distress message is received these security teams appear on spot within a time span of 15 to 30 minutes.
In Bangladesh today, women represent more than 52% of the population and according to research by the Centre for Policy Dialogue women including housewives contribute a staggering 87% to total GDP. The majority of RMG workers who have made the sector the most promising one in Bangladesh, are females and the number of female entrepreneurs too are rising fast.
Bangladeshi women possess an indomitable aura which produces the kind of energy and wit needed to propel our country forward. Empowering women by providing them with a support system the way Nibedita does will not only assist career driven individuals by providing financial relief but gives a voice to homemakers too by providing to them a unique financial identity. Nibedita has thus been developed as the champion of all Bangladeshi women from all sides of society.
New innovations of Nibedita in 2018
- Nibedita Eco
- Nibedita Reguler
- Nibedita Plus
Bangladesh is certainly not far behind in the race of obtaining the SDG goals for by 2030 due to the presence of such initiatives. In the UN Global Compact at the World Leaders Summit in New York. Ms. Chowdhury was honored as one of the ten 2016 Inaugural Class of Local SDG pioneers by H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, and she was also hailed as Women's Economic Security provider by the secretary general.
Ms Farzana Chowdhury ACII (UK), a Chartered Insurer, is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Green Delta Insurance Company Limited