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Gender discrimination and the dilapidated development

30 Aug 2018, 11:38

Md. Saiful Islam Masum
Women work at a garment factory of Wega Group, in Dhaka, Bangladesh July 12, 2016. Photo: Reuters

It is observed that women are being deprived of working in the earning sector and they have been deployed only in household works especially in the rural areas of both Bangladesh and the neighbouring country India. Where there is a great number of population come from rural areas, who are considered unskilled and under-qualified. This big chunk of women is being cornered from the economic activities of the country. They do not have the opportunity to engage themselves in the national revenue earning.

The larger part of female demography is unemployed and they are just population not manpower. The country and the countrymen have a strong ego and negative ethos towards utilising this big portion of people. The relationship between women and poverty is complex and therefore very difficult to reveal. The disproportionate vulnerability of women arises from the interaction of economic disadvantages in the labour market, in domestic circumstances and in welfare systems. The methodological challenge that emerges now is 'how can we reveal the gender dimension of poverty?' My answer is that both a new and more suitable theoretical paradigm and a new methodology are required. Women's poverty cannot be understood and tackled using paradigms and methodological instruments based upon the view that poverty is a gender-neutral phenomenon. Particularly, it is necessary to shed light on different mechanisms behind women's poverty and to depict the crucial role played by the inequalities in the distribution of resources within the family in shaping women's well-being. Thus, longitudinal data are required, since they can efficiently estimate the parameters of dynamic processes in the social sciences. Moreover, specific methodological choices and full methodological awareness are needed. Moreover, a way of placing individuals within households in also needed. Finally, a higher data quality and greater data comparability are required. 

Depriving the women from works and earning facility vividly create gender inequality. The gender inequality creates disparity in the society and yields economic slowdown. To run the economy at well paced, we need to reduce the gender inequality from the country. It unleashes the national economy towards a dilapidated situation. Thus we all should ensure the equal opportunity for both male and female citizen. Gender equality is not just a condescending goal anymore; it is the necessary missing link for sustainable development, which is now been agreed by all. Reducing gender inequality gives women more money to spend on food, housing and education — essential component for reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.

If economic growth is to be achieved without social development at the grassroots level, it will not only widen inequality but also give rise to socioeconomic paranoia, socio-political unrest and instability. Growth and progression without development will have dangerous socio-political consequences that could undermine the very essence of freedom and democracy and deepen inequality.

It has significantly become an urgent need to maximize women taking part in revenue earning and economic works. The works which give the monetary benefit and give economic return is called economic works. Women are doing household works. These are also important for the family. But, as these fathomless works apparently do not yield any monetary fruit are termed thankless job. They are making their lives exhausted by doing so many thankless jobs but the return is zero. There is an imperative need to increase women’s participation in power and decision making. Gendered career advice leads women to choose lower status, lower-paid jobs than their male counterparts, making them more prone to poverty. Women living in poverty have a greater risk of educational underachievement which leaves them lacking the skills, qualifications and confidence to enter the work-place. These women are less likely to be able to afford the kind of childcare best suited to their needs and aspirations.

The unemployment of women is causing poverty in a massive form. So, women employment in every sector should be ensured because they are vital part of the total demography. Their skills, knowledge, forces should be utilised properly. It is not inappropriate if we say that there has been a feminisation of poverty. Women are severely under-employed. It is seen in Bangladesh that almost 85% of woman are housewives and the rest of them are employed in several sectors. According to the 1971 census in India, women constituted 48.2% of the population but only 13% of economic activity. Women were excluded from many types of formal job, but engaged and employed in the unorganised sector as in agriculture, agro-forestry, fishery, handicrafts and so on. The crisis in the agricultural sector adversely affects the livelihoods and food security of the rural poor, particularly women. There has been a sharp increase in the number of deaths from poverty and malnutrition. Empowering women to take part in the workforce is not a simple problem to solve. For many women, there are physical and psychological consequences of encountering the workplace harassment, discrimination, violence and shame.

The women are working in RMG Sector and they have developed the RMG sector in Bangladesh as a Thrust sector. This sector moves the wheel of the economy of the country. Likewise them, in every sector women should be empowered and encouraged to work. Then the development will come. The gender inequalities should be reduced. Gender discrimination is a great hindrance in the way of development.

*The writer is a banker.