Include domestic work in labour law

Speakers urge govt
Whip Sagufta Yasmin Emily speaks at a discussion titled ‘Achievements and barriers of formal and informal women labour’ at Chhayanaut Auditorium in the city yesterday. ActionAid Bangladesh organised the discussion to observe the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Speaker at a discussion yesterday called on the government include the labour of domestic helps in the labour law to ensure their rights to health and basic education.

“Women are the main workers at the domestic labour and they have been working in vulnerable situation where they frequently violated with their employers,” said speakers at the discussion organised by ActionAid Bangladesh at Chhayanaut Auditorium in the city.

The discussion was titled ‘Achievements and barrier of formal and informal women labor’ organised to observe the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Micro Industries Development Assistance and Services (MIDAS), said though women in the country have to face many obstacles to make a place in the patriarchal society, they overcome those barriers.

“Women are now working in banks, micro-finance and some other challenging professions and they are working with efficiency,” she added.

“Now, we have to unite to achieve our those rights which are yet to ensure in the sector of garments and agriculture.”

Rokia, also former adviser to a caretaker government, said: “There are already some employers who prefer to appoint women rather than men because of women’s sincerity.”

Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education, said: “During any rights movement, we forget about the rights of those women who are working as domestic helps. The government and non-government organisations have to think about their basic rights, especially education.”

Whip Sagufta Yasmin Emily said the government has already taken an initiative to empower the women both in rural and urban areas.

ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir moderated the discussion, which was addressed by Farah Naima Imam Chowdhury of ActionAid, Shirin Akhter of Karmajibi Nari, Ayesha Khanam of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad and Rashed Al Mahmood of Unnayan Onneshan.

ActionAid also awarded four people with Nasreen Memorial Award 2010 at another programme organised at Rabindra Sarobar at Dhanmondi.

The awardees were Shahinur Begum for her contribution to making Sidr-hit people aware of disaster management, Shanti Sudha Mandal for establishing a farm house at Chandarbill with her own effort, Aradhan De for building a sanctuary for birds in Sunamganj and Anowara Begum of Gaibandha for her work to ensure reproductive rights for rural women.

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