What the papers say

Women at Work

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 5th October, 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

Women’s empowerment is still a challenge in Bangladesh.

The number of working women in Bangladesh has decreased significantly over the past ten years. Women entrepreneurs are not getting proper access to bank loans. And discrimination in the workplace is still common.

In the construction industry working conditions for both women and men have become increasingly unsafe. The industry lacks regulation and proper safety measures. And this often leads to death and serious injury.

In the agriculture sector, discrimination against small women farmers is prevalent.  So they  are excluded from the credit services  provided by the state.

Where is women’s empowerment going? 

Lenders are giving a hard time to women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh by refusing to give them proper access to bank loans.

This issue was discussed at an expert group meeting on  September 28th in Dhaka. The percentage of loans given to women entrepreneurs declined in the first half of the year.  But the number of women-led enterprises has increased significantly. Policymakers also feel high interest rates are a major reason for the downfall of SMEs. And this needs to be addressed quickly.

ILO report 2017 says, South Asia has seen a significant decrease in the percentage of working women over the past decade.

Women want jobs but they are often denied a proper education and  employment opportunities compared to men.

Even when women are employed, they are often confined to certain positions and tasks. Gender stereotypes and social norms do not allow women to move forward and take leadership roles in the workplace.

The report suggests gender equality and respect for each other’s roles should begin at home, in schools and in our communities. We need policy changes to allow men to play a role in childbirth and childcare. And the private sector can empower women by providing financial support and employment opportunities that are sustainable.

Read the full ILO World Employment Social Outlook here.

Safety hazards of construction workers in Dhaka

Accidents and death rated of construction workers in Dhaka has increased in recent time. Unsafe working conditions and a lack of proper regulations are the main reasons behind the increased fatalities of construction workers.

Highway road blocked by RMG workers

The Dhaka-Mymensingh highway road was blocked for half an hour by RMG workers on  September 30th. They demanded their salaries and dues. The police managed to unblock the road by ensuring the workers that their demands will be met.

Board of Revenue looking into foreign workers

Illegal appointment of foreign workers to avoid tax has become a great concern for the National Board of Revenue. The Board is set to start inspecting firms. Legal action will be taken against employers if foreign workers are found working in Bangladesh without the approval of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.

A penalty of up to 500,000 Taka or imprisonment of up to three-years has been set for the employers. As a penalty, the foreign employees will have to pay a fifty per cent of payable income tax in addition to their income tax.

Discrimination against small farmers

A survey report suggests that the small farmers in Bangladesh have poor access to the credit and agricultural extension services provided by the state.

But small farmers are producing higher outputs compared to rich farmers. Farm growth, particularly in rice production has declined in recent years. In a recent workshop, the lead author of the survey report said that financing these marginal farmers is necessary to increase overall output in Bangladesh.

Discussions at the workshop concluded that investment in farm research and fixing correct prices for produce has become essential.

First ever job fair in Jessore

This is the first time a job fair has been held in Jessore. It was inaugurated by the State Minister for ICT, Junaid Ahmed Palak. On the spot appointments, CV submissions, workshops, seminars and discussions were the highlights of the fair.

And that’s the news for the week ending 5th October, 2017.