Proper coordination among the colleagues particularly the males as well as managerial personnel are of crucial importance for the development of women workers’ skills, self-confidence and their safety at workplace, campaigners for women’s rights said Tuesday
They were speaking at a dialogue on gender equality at workplace and challenges facing women in their career advancement.
They called for addressing lack of equal opportunities for which barely two to three per cent women staff get supervisory jobs at apparel factories though over 60 per cent of this vital industry’s workforce were women.
UN Women Bangladesh and CARE Bangladesh jointly hosted the dialogue, at a hotel in the capital, as part of Career-Capital-Confidence campaign, better known as 3C Campaign.
The 3C campaign stresses on women apparel workers’ career mobility, financial inclusion and reduction of sexual violence.
In her keynote paper, gender expert Shamima Pervin said that women workers, even though praised as multi-tasking and non-violent staff were often denied timely promotions due to myth that they were not ‘strong’ enough for challenging jobs.
Workers leader Sultana Begum said selection of supervisors from among the skilled women workers would be possible only after production managers changed their mindsets.
Manusher Jonno Foundation’s Rina Roy said women workers’ representation in supervisory jobs should be more than 50:50 as the male: female ratio had been proposed for the RMG industry because women dominate it by their sheer number.
Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies’ executive director Sultan Uddin Ahmed opposed women workers’ promotions at workplaces on the basis of their ability for multi-tasking and non-violent nature.
He called upon women workers to learn how to protest and not to remain meek and demand promotions on the basis of efficiency, experience and leadership skills.
He asked women to be vocal to realize their due rights and positions.
UN Women Bangladesh representative Shoko Ishikawa said gender inequality persisted in Bangladesh’s trade unions.
Everyone must speak up for gender balance at the workplace for the best possible output and well-being, she said.
Moderated by CARE BD’s women and girls empowerment programme director Humaira Aziz, additional secretary for labour and employment ministry Ashraf Shamim, additional secretary for women and children affairs ministry Mahmuda Sharmeen, CARE’s Bangladesh director Zia Chowdhury and UN Women’s programme analyst Tapati Saha also spoke.
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