Empowerment of women in Bangladesh
The empowerment of women means giving women power and opportunity to the powerless so that they can join the workforce and contribute to the family income and influence the family and social affairs. It is an important concept for both global and national development. The empowerment of women should be ensured at all levels of the state administration. Women’s empowerment is a must if we want to make real progress.
In the past women were confined within the four walls. They were kept away from out-of-home productive work. The hearth became their workplace. So, cooking, cleaning, washing, giving birth and rearing children became their jobs. Men became the wage earners and all other outdoor activities were their responsibilities. It is unfortunate but true that women are still lagging behind in Bangladesh. They are deprived of enjoying freedom. Throughout their life, they have to remain dependent on men.
There are many reasons behind the poor status of women in Bangladesh. Among them social and religious prejudices and customs are noteworthy. All these are belittling their position and dignity. Still, the poor parents in our country think that the birth of a girl child will add to their sufferings. Instead of sending her to school, she is married off at a tender age. In her in-law’s house, she is not treated well and she is often tortured and mistreated by her husband and others for dowry.
We must not forget that women are as important as men in society. About half of our total population is women. So, it cannot be denied that they too possess equal rights and duties as men. They also have ability and if they are given the opportunity, they can also work like men. It is not possible for a nation to make real progress by keeping aloof half of its total population. So, there is no alternative to making women economically, socially and politically self-reliant if we really want to upgrade their status. So, our attitude towards women should be changed and we should work at our level best to change their social status and financial condition.
It is true that women’s condition has changed somewhat during the last few decades. At present, they are playing important roles in all spheres of life. They have come out of their four walls and are working hand in hand with men in all spheres of life. The most important factor for women’s empowerment is education. Our present government has taken proper steps in this regard. It has declared female education free up to class 12. They should be made self-reliant by imparting to them proper knowledge and employment.
However, at any cost, we must make our women conscious of the fact that they have the potential to participate in the socio-economic development of the country. If we want to keep pace with the challenge of the new millennium, we must ensure the participation of our women in all development work. Besides, we have to ensure their participation in local bodies and state politics. We should remember that the empowerment of women is a must to build up a happy and prosperous society.