Citing a recent UN-ILO joint report, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam has said the gender inequality has substantially come down in Bangladesh.
As per the report, Bangladesh has the lowest pay gap in the world in terms of gender equality as the global average gap between men and women is 21 percent while it is 2.1 percent in the country, he said.
“The inequality in Bangladesh is lowest in the world in paying men and women and it came as a surprise for many. But the very organised RMG sector has helped make it happen,” he said while addressing a seminar on ‘Women Leadership in Media: Challenges and Way Forward’ at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organised the seminar on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.
The function with DCAB president Angur Nahar Monty in the chair was also addressed by Sweden Ambassador in Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyter, UN Women Country representative Shoko Ishikawa, Daily Ittefaq editor Taslima Hossain, Jatiya Press Club general secretary Farida Yasmin, Foreign Ministry’s External Affairs Publicity Wing director general Samiya Halim and Associate Professor of Dhaka University Journalism and Mass Communication department Sabrina Sultana Chowdhury.
Independent researcher Shameem Ara Sheuli presented the keynote paper on the topic of the seminar where she said in the media industry, 84 percent journalists and employees are males while only 16 percent females.
The scenario in rural area is even worse as about 5 percent women are working in different media there, she said.
Sheuli also mentioned that now 50 plus female journalists are working in the media outlets in the country.
Shahriar Alam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the first initiative to reduce the inequality among the male folk and female folk in different sectors.
He said Awami League is the first political party top level committee of which is represented by 30 percent female leadership.
The state minister said it is necessary for both men and women to come up to reduce the gender inequality in the society.
Swedish Ambassador Charlotta Schlyter said although Sweden has improved a lot in gender equality, still female journalists have to face a lot of challenges in their work.
She underscored the need for top level commitment to reduce the gap in gender equality. “Media can take the lead in this regard which will make changes in other arena of the society,” she said.
Ittefaq editor Taslima Hossain said women are actually double timers in their work as they have to work both at home and workplace and they cannot leave their children while going for work.
Farida Yasmin said women’s inner strength is immense which they have to realise in their life.