The Contribution of Women in Development in Bangladesh

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A prominent poet says, all the works, beneficial and good, half must be credited to woman, and another half to man. However, we should realize the importance of female in the field of our country’s development as they usually constitute around 50% of our population.

Equality of opportunities play an important role in the context of socio-economic growth of bangladesh. It is the most important aspect that creates the need to generate sustainability with regard to their participation within the development of our country. If we don’t recognize the participation of women in the development sector then it will be like that fighting with one hand tied behind one’s back. From the paddy field top peaks of Himalayas, women have their marks but their contribution is not recognized as it should have been, there is no way we can undermine the contribution of our women in the nation’s overall development.

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Women’s contribution in the social context in Bangladesh

A housewife living in Bangladesh but no salary begins her day at 6 a.m and she goes to bed between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm in the rural area but in town 12:30 and 1:00 am. Every day she puts in 15-18 hours on family-related work. Can we realize how much large contribution this is for family?

We know that in the context of Bangladesh, about everywhere, men are considered to be the head of the family and its most important member, since we know that usually men earn the income for the houses, foods, clothes etc of family. Men also have a far easier time than women in seeking paid employment. Work is typically divided along gender lines, with men being responsible for “outside” work and women for housework and child care. In Bangladeshi families, income earning is usually the responsibility of males, while the remaining family members usually women and children are economically dependent on them.even those women who have paid jobs must continue bearing responsibility for household work, with its many time‐ consuming tasks. As a result, many women spend most of their time on housework. Women also perform paid labor within their homes, such as taking in piece work or assisting in family productive activities, such as farm work, running a family business, etc. Further, there exists the perception that women must “know” how to cook, clean, raise children and manage a household, these are not considered skills or talents that women work hard to acquire from their mothers as young girls, but are rather considered trivial, unskilled tasks.

Women have no choice but to live in this dependent condition, due to their relatively lower educational levels and fewer marketable skills, the resultant lack of available employment opportunities, and a lack of social acceptance of women earning a living. This problem is, perhaps surprisingly, particularly acute for middle‐class women. The poorest often have no choice but to allow the women to find paid work, while in the upper classes, women are usually educated and can find other ways to spend their time. Middle class women, however, face the greatest social obstacles in engaging in work outside the home, leaving them few choices but to be full‐time housewives, however, any work that receives little pay is considered unimportant and labeled as “women’s work”, despite the fact that such work actually bring great economic benefits to the family. Since housework and childcare are unpaid1 and are carried out almost by women, they are considered to be without monetary value.

Certainly clean clothes, a clean home, and meals are essential to those earning an income, as well as to everyone else in is also obviously important to have someone who takes care of children, the elderly, and the sick. Women’s contributions are undoubtedly essential to the home and thus to society. According to the current system, a woman staying home to take care of her children and elderly relatives does not. Imagine the kind of society we create when prioritizing useless or harmful economic activity over social activity; perhaps this goes a long way towards explaining current crises in terms of the heavy burdens placed on working families to meet their needs to earn an income and take care of family members. After all, with only income earning valued by society, society will offer no assistance to carry out other duties, and the difficulties faced by families which receive little or no support from employers or the State to balance work and family responsibilities is well‐documented.

So we can state that without the help of women, a society will not fill up its target like any kind of development. Women are the important elements for developing the society. Now in primary school, our women teach to our new generation with motherly affection that is why they learn from school good things as their mother teach them.wherever male teachers are indifferent in primary level about their teaching to the small students. Even they sometimes take sleep in schools.

Women’s economic contribution in development

The economic contribution of women in Bangladesh has improved significantly over the years. We know that Bangladesh is the 12th largest exporters in the world. This is very important to note that the garment industries currently have about 1.5 million workers wherever 70 percent of females. In bangladesh a large part of economic activities undertaken by women including household chores care and agriculcural work remain unaccounted for since conventional measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) primarily considers goods and services produced for markets. This transmits wrong signals to policy makers whose allocated and distributional decision are influenced by this. Family members’ attitudes towards a woman who does not have an income are often discriminatory.if a woman grows vegetables for the home consumpsion, they do not be counted unless they are growing them as their primary occupation. Some activities are specifically excluded such as carrying water, weeding, collecting firewood, subsistence crop production, and housework. When it comes to who controls land, it is informative to look at the definition of a “holder, ” used by the Food and Agriculture Organization which is in reference to the person who exercises control over land and is responsible for utilization of existing resources. Most types of agricultural work are included.

The fact that housework is specifically excluded from the UNSNA suggests that housewives are not considered as doing anything of economic value but social responsibilities. Yet housewives’ activities include food processing, food preparation, care of family members, care of clothing, shopping, household management, and maintenance of accounts.It is likely that our failure to assign a price for the services of the homemaker has tended to convey the impression that they are valueless rather than priceless.Yet the tasks commonly performed by women are not totally lackings in importance. The Bangladesh Home Workers Women Association (BHWA) that the annual contribution of home‐based workers to the GDP is about Tk 150 billion. I have calculated that the percentage of national production attributed to women would increase significantly from 25% to 41% if unpaid work were included in the national economy. Then the proportion contributed by men would fall from 75% to 59%. Moreover i have found some information such as, ƒ Conventional GDP estimates capture 98% of men’s production but only 47% of women’s production. The total time spent on work in rural areas, women contribute 53% and men 47%. the total time spent on non market work, women contribute 89% and men 11%. However economic contribution of women can be also observed in a number of social indicators concerning education, health etc. Indeed, this is a reflection of the increased participation of women in the labour force. Notwithstanding the dynamics of change in labour market composition, the contribution of women in official estimations of gross domestic product (GDP) is much lower than man. Unpaid work of women in Bangladesh comes in many forms such as chores, child care and care of the elderly, sick and disabled people in the household, and volunteer work in the community the national accounting system based on the System of National Accounts (SNA) does not include such unpaid works, which are performed mainly by women. Due to the nature of women’s predominant engagement in the unpaid work, their contribution to the GDP is under-represented. Unpaid work performed by women is not counted in GDP or gross national income (GNI). However, activities such as domestic labour and care giving have value and create social capital, which would add substantially to the GDP of a country if they were valued appropriately. Non-recognition of women’s unpaid works leads to undervaluation of their economic contribution. It also lowers their social status relative to men. If women’s unpaid activities were taken into account, the actual contribution of women in the economy would be widely acknowledged.

Women’s economic contribution is underrepresented in Bangladesh’s economy because Labour Force Surveys (LFSs) have been unable to adequately capture their various activities. The almost female labor are concentrated in the rural areas, specially in agriculture. According to the Labor Force survey of 2017 about 65 percent of women work in agriculture close to 22 percent are in the service sectors, and 13.32 percent are in industries.Women’s participation in agriculture has also grown nicely during the past 10 years. According to the BBS, women’s participation in that sector has grown 108%, compared with a 2 percent decline among men over the past decade.We know that, Bangladeshi women are now also making their mark through remittance incomes from abroad.

So we can strongly say the economic contribution of women in the developmental framework in Bangladesh is very important. We should acknowledge their contribution undoubtedly.

Women’s contribution in Political development

I want to mention that our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her initiative to overcome existing challenges in this field have led to her being honoured by US-based NGO Global Summit of Women with the Global Women’s Leadership Award in April, 2018 for her distinguished contribution in the political field is the best example of this topic. However, The women of Bangladesh now play a critical role in politics. Struggles and movements for women’s rights over many decades have marked women’s political empowerment as a high priority. These took place mainly because it became evident that unless women have the right and power to contribute in policy making and to legislate for themselves, they will have to wait and depend on others to do it for them. As long as women remained excluded from participation in Parliaments, from political processes, and therefore from making or amending legislation, they had to depend on male legislators’ agreement to legislate in favour of women having the right to vote, to sit in parliament and to hold public office. We know Women’s representation in Bangladesh parliament may seem satisfactory in terms of number, but when it comes to active participation in policy-making and public service, the picture is quite different. In the current parliament, there are a total of 71 women lawmakers, 50 of whom occupy reserved seats.

We know that in every political sector women have promoted transparency and accountability and integrity specially in the rural society. Women’s pro-poor attitude towards sincerity and participatory governance helped ushering integrity in the rural society. Women’s sincerity has been reflected and corroborated by various studies. Found that women are more sincere, stable, committed, capable of hard work, and above all, not corrupt. We know women’s leadership has been linked with enhancing world peace, reducing corruption, and improving opportunities for the downtrodden. If women, as keepers of the values of social justice, nurturance, and honesty, are put in charge, then the conflicts, corruption and greed around us will go away. Although women are born and brought up in a highly male dominated atmosphere in Bangladesh but there are evidence that due to different socialization and life experience, women may simply be different from Men this shows that women bring to politics a different set of values, experiences and some have found that in general male law makers are less likely to initiate and pass laws that serve women’s and children’s interest and they less often think about rape, domestic violence, women’s health, and child care found that despite facing numerous problems in Bangladesh Even in strong patriarchal culture these reserved women have encouraged to demonstrate their leadership.


We’ve already earned the status of lower middle-income country. In social sector development, we’re also ahead of many countries. And women have played a major role in these achievements. But we want to do more for them. Women are definitely on the move. Before, they used to work within the four walls of their homes. Now they are working outside. Women have a large presence in sectors such as readymade garments, frozen foods, processed leather, handicrafts and tea etc. Women who do the household chores contribute 76.8 percent to the GDP but the cost of their labor is not calculated in the national economy. That is why we now lag behind. if we want to get rid of the middle class country then we have to give importance to the women’s contribution.

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