Experts call for reviewing gender-sensitive policies to safeguard women’s economic empowerment


TBS Report

August 23, 2022, 10:35 a.m.

Last modification: August 23, 2022, 10:44 a.m.

After the training phase is completed, the women are put in contact with urban buyers and Protibha forwards the orders placed on their online marketplace to the women. Photo: courtesy


After the training phase is completed, the women are put in contact with urban buyers and Protibha forwards the orders placed on their online marketplace to the women. Photo: courtesy

Speakers at a workshop titled “Women’s Economic Empowerment and Gender Responsive Policies in Bangladesh” highlighted the need to review current gender-responsive policies and practices to create an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs in small, micro, small and medium enterprises (CSMEs) and ensure sustainable progress in the economic development of Bangladesh.

Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive Growth (WING), a joint project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Women and UNCDF, hosted the workshop on August 22 at a hotel in Dhaka.

Connecting virtually as the main guest, Minister of Industry Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, “Cultural and social barriers often prevent women entrepreneurs from accessing financial institutions. We strive to ratify women-friendly policies that could enhance their abilities to take advantage of all forms of opportunities and resources.”

Dutch Ambassador Her Excellency Anne Van Leeuwen, special guest at the event, said: “Women’s economic empowerment is imperative to strengthen women’s voice and improve their social, economic and community position. family. Supporting women’s economic empowerment not only helps the national economy, but also helps advance their personal needs, interests, and goals.”

Acting UNDP Resident Representative Van Nguyen said, “The government has worked hard in recent years to help women entrepreneurs get the right training, access to traditional financial institutions and the market to support SMEs, more focus on women’s development through gender responsive budgeting and planning”.

“We pledge to continue our support for the reform of existing gender-sensitive policies and the strengthening of the monitoring mechanism so that women entrepreneurs in all spheres of the economy can benefit from the facilities granted by the government,” he said. she declared.

UN Women Country Representative Gitanjali Singh added, “Effective gender responsive budgeting is crucial at national and local levels and should be complemented by participatory budgeting processes and strengthened monitoring mechanisms.

“Furthermore, we need to create space for women leaders and civil society to participate and influence budget discussions and outcomes,” she added.

Earlier, Kajal Chatterjee, National Project Manager of WING Project, presented the keynote speech on WING and Iftekharul Amin, Associate Professor, IBA, University of, shared the findings of the National Financial Policy Review study.

Sharmin Islam, UNDP Gender Team Leader, moderated a session on policy review on women-led CMSMEs, where Kazi Shakhawat Hossain, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Md. Hafizur Rahman, Additional. Sec., Ministry of Commerce, Md. Jaker Hossain, Managing Director, SME and Special Programs Department, Bangladesh Bank, Rumana Khorshed, Deputy Secretary, NSDA, Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Joint Secretary, PD, A2i, Division of ICT, Dr Sayed Saikh Imtiaz, Professor, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka, participated.

UNDP, UN Women and UNCDF, in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and supported by the Government of the Netherlands, have been implementing the Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive Growth (WING) project since November 2020 to develop skills to create dignified and formal participation of women as employees and entrepreneurs in local economies


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