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3 months ago

Inspiring change, saluting womanhood

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The International Women's Day is an important day for everyone across the globe. It is an occasion for women's worldwide celebration: recognising their economic, cultural, social, political and all other accomplishments. On behalf of Dhaka Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DWCCI), we express our solidarity & thank all those tireless women champions who have worked so hard for their achievements.

Bangladesh has ranked number one among South Asian countries in terms of gender parity, according to the latest Global Gender Gap Report 2023 by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

With a score of 72.2 per cent, Bangladesh has ranked 59th globally, indicating significant progress in achieving gender parity. Women across the country experienced a rise in overall gender parity in 2023, as reflected in a higher score compared to 2022.

Bangladesh has made notable progress in the field of political empowerment, being placed seventh worldwide and achieving a gender parity rate of 55.2 per cent. The country has had a woman as head of state for 29.3 years out of the last 50 years, the longest duration in the world.

Bangladesh stands out as the top performer in South Asia, demonstrating notable progress in achieving gender parity, particularly in political empowerment. While there is still work to be done in areas such as economic participation and creating opportunities, the country's advancements serve as an inspiration for the region.

This is monumental towards access to information for ordinary individuals. Historically women have had a hard time connecting with government institutions with limited access. Now they are several clicks away from readily available information. As we know, information technology is one of the major components for moving forward in all aspects, especially as a country.

In its recent report to the UN General Assembly the Government of Bangladesh has emphasized its utmost priority of eliminating inequality and improving the living standard. This will ensure women's empowerment, which will lead towards a developing country. Dhaka Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DWCCI) strongly supports this initiative of the government by giving top priority to the following areas:

  1. The urgent need to stop violence and abuse against women and girls.
  2. The economic emancipation for women- where meaning earn, contribute, control and spend their money without any pressure.
  3. Eliminating child marriage- every girl child has the right to continue her education.
  4. Participating in all decision making, professionally and personally.

If we take into account the recent growth rate as an indicator, one can optimistically assume that Bangladesh will be able to minimise most of the primary areas of focus. There is no denial of the active involvement of women in trade, commerce and all other types of workplaces. They are an integral part of society, arguably better multitaskers than their male counterparts. To empower and further strengthen women, more leadership roles in workplace and homes must be encouraged. To move towards inclusive and sustainable development, the gender gap must be minimised even further.

The theme for The International Women's day on March 8, 2024 was: "Invest in Women : Accelerate Progress". This theme is cohesive with the United Nations multigenerational campaign, where it is essential not to discriminate due to age or generational differences. We need to raise our voice and work to create awareness of all age groups. The year 2024 is central for advancing gender equality in the upcoming decade, when women and girls will not be marginalised.

Naaz Farhana Ahmed is President of Dhaka Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DWCCI)

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