Published:  12:00 AM, 08 March 2017

Women breaking barriers


"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved" - B. R. Ambedkar

Even though our society may have reached sustainable development in achieving gender parity, the truth of the matter is that there still exists a significant amount of discrimination. About 52% of our total population comprises women, of which a majority are career-oriented, who in their prime time of career life often quit their jobs after getting married or giving birth to a child.

Women have often faced many challenges for an empowered and independent living in Bangladesh. But with the changing times, they are actively participating in the economic activities both at the micro and the macro level. As a result, issues such as gender inequality and women empowerment are widely discussed. One such concept that caters to their needs, making them self-dependent, is Nibedita, which is the first comprehensive insurance scheme for women in South East Asia launched by Green Delta Insurance. As a one-stop service for women's healthcare, safety and social needs, Nibedita has enrolled over 2500 women.

Recognized by the UN Global Compact and selected as one of the 10 Local SDG Pioneers for promoting Women's Economic Security and Gender Equality, I created this platform to safeguard womens' role in the society. A platform for growth, corporate governance and youth leadership, and especially for women empowerment, Nibedita has been launched keeping the healthcare, safety and social needs of women in mind. With aggressive awareness campaigns, the company has deployed a special women sales force to generate door-to-door awareness.

As a professional woman entrepreneur myself, I have been actively involved in building business relationships within the healthcare sector with fellow members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). Since the inception of the Bangladesh chapter in 2016, EO has created opportunities for members to interact with other business leaders from the cross-functional business fraternity and to foster congenial business relationships. The ex-tremely enriching experiences of my participation across various levels in EO have provided a unique platform for professional and personal development, which has amplified my business and personal life. Current Statistics on Women in Bangladesh

The status of women empowerment and gender equality is changing at a fast pace in Bangladesh. Women are part of the corporate culture and have started making their mark. Women entrepreneurs constitute less than 10% of the total business entrepreneurs. It is noticeable that despite many barriers, a new women entrepreneur class has risen in the country taking on the challenge to work in a male-dominated, competitive and complex economic and business environment. (Hossain Abir, 2007).

Here's some vital information according to Economic Policy Paper on Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh:

*    80% of the RMG workers in our country are women.
*    RMG contribution in GDP: 5%
*   (4% female Contribution)
*    Urban Housewives 24.5%
*    Rural Housewives 18.8%
*    Urban employed 2.5%
*    Rural employed 7.3%

According to the Report on the Bangladesh Literacy Survey, 2010.

*    200 thousand women are working abroad
*    7.8 Million are working young women (As of 2010)
*    Women unemployment rate is 5.80% (Previous 7% - 2006)
*    Total women in Job sector- 10.62 million
*    4.9 Million new women are in job sector



Thr writer is the Managing Director & CEO of  Green Delta Insurance Company Limited


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