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رفاه در حوزه جنوب آسیا مستلزم سهم بیشتر زنان با پرداخت معاش کافی در نیروی کار

Annette Dixon's picture
Also available in: English

Women in the Work Force
جنوب آسیا شاهد رشد اقتصادی ٦ در صدی طی ٢٠ سال گذشته بوده، که این امر در نتیجه سبب کاهش فقر و بهبود در عرصه صحت و تعلیم و تربیه گردیده است. ما در حالیکه از این پیشرفتها در روز جهانی زن تجلیل می کنیم، بهتر میبود اگر زنان بیشتر با دریافت مزد کافی شامل نیروی کار میبودند. زنان در جنوب آسیا فقط ٢٨ درصد نیرو کار و یا انعده شان که در جستجوی کار هستند، را تشکیل میدهند. در مقایسه  با حوزه خاورمیانه و شمال آفریقا که در انجان ٢١ درصد نیرو کار را مردان تشکیل میدهند در حوزه جنوب اسیا مردان ٧٩ درصد نیرو کار هستند، که این دومین کمترین میزان در جهان است.
 
 نیروی بالقوه انکشاف  جنوب آسیا با بزرگترین جمعیت کار در حال رشد، در طبقه متوسط قرار دارد؛ اما کمبود زنان در مشاغل و مشارکت اقتصادی، منعکس دهنده فرصت های از دست رفته است. ده ها میلیون زن در هند و سریلانکا، در طول بیست سال گذشته از نیروی کار کنار رفته اند.
 
 از جمله بسیاری از عوامل باز دارنده، یکی هم بیسوادی است که تقریبا نیمی از زنان بالغ  در جنوب آسیا را دربر میگیرد که دخترانشان از بالاترین میزان سوء تغذی در جهان رنج می برند. میزان خشونت علیه زنان و مرگ و میر مادران در بالاترین میزان در جهان باقی مانده است. همه این عوامل مشارکت کم، بیکاری بیش از حد  و تفاوت های مزد مستمر برای زنان است، که در بازار کار را نشان می دهد.
 
 چه کاری می توانیم انجام دهیم تا به وجه احسن، زنان را تشویق کنیم تا در نیروی کار شرکت کنند؟ این کار، با شروع ارزش قایل شدن به ارزشهای دختران برابر فرزندان است - دسترسی آنها به غذاهای مغذی و سرمایه گذاری در آموزش و پرورش آنها برای دستیابی به توانایی هایشان فراهم می شود. بیایید علاقۀ دختران جوان را در موضوعاتی مثل علم و ریاضیات جلب کنیم و آنها را متقاعد سازیم که آنها به همان اندازه پسران توانایی دارند و میتوانند در مهندسی، تحقیقات علمی، فناوری اطلاعات و دیگر زمینه هایی که توسط کارفرمایان تقاضا می شود، شغل ایجاد کنند. ما همچنین باید توجه فرزندانمان را به احترام دختران و زنان افزایش دهیم و روشن کنیم که برای خشونت مبتنی بر جنسیت، هیچ مجال باقی نمانده است.

Redefining women's empowerment in Bangladesh

Sabah Moyeen's picture
 

What does empowerment really mean? The Northern Area Reduction Initiative (NARI) project has forced me to ask this question several times. And the answers are apparently not as neat and foldable into the pre-set indicators as one would think.
 
Bangladesh’s garment industry has been at the heart of the country’s export boom ever since the first factory opened in 1976. Today, the industry accounts for 80% of Bangladesh’s total exports. 85% of the workers in the garments sector are women. The NARI program aims to facilitate the entry of skilled women into this sector. However, this program is not just about technical skills aimed at churning out yet another RMG worker. The girls learn how to adjust to life outside their homes and villages, open and manage bank accounts, and learn about their rights and responsibilities as workers. They also negotiate contracts and rent, understand what sexual harassment is, and learn how and where to report it. They build networks, allow ideas to form on the basis of newly discovered confidence and self-esteem. Some graduate and join the earmarked jobs, often in positions several steps ahead of what they would have been offered without the training.

South Asia’s prosperity will require more women to work for pay

Annette Dixon's picture
Also available in: دری

Women in the Work Force

South Asia has enjoyed a growth rate of 6 percent a year over the past 20 years. This has translated into declining poverty and improvements in health and education. While worthy of celebration as we mark International Women's Day, the success could have been more dramatic if more women worked for pay. Only 28 percent of women in South Asia have a job or are looking for one, compared to 79 percent of men. This is the second lowest in the world, after the Middle East and North Africa region at 21 percent.

With the largest working-age population and growing middle class, South Asia’s development potential is vast. But the lack of women in employment and economic participation reflects lost potential. In India and Sri Lanka, tens of millions of women have dropped out of the work force over the last twenty years.

Many factors are holding them back. Almost half of South Asia’s adult women are illiterate and its girls suffer from the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Rates of violence against women and maternal mortality remain among the highest in the world. All these factors translate into a labor market characterized by low participation, high unemployment and persistent wage gaps for women.

What can be done to better prepare and encourage women to participate in the work force? It starts with valuing our daughters as much as our sons – providing them with the same access to nutritious foods and investing in their education for them to reach their potential. Let’s spark the interest of young girls in subjects like science and mathematics, and convince them that they are just as capable as boys –that they too can build careers in engineering, scientific research, IT, and other fields that are in demand by employers. We must also raise our sons to respect girls and women, and make it clear that there is zero-tolerance for gender-based violence.

Nepal hotline helps women suffering violence

Annette Dixon's picture
Women in Nepal
Violence against women remains a pervasive issue in Nepal. There's now a
24/7 helpline to support victims. 

On my visit to Kathmandu in January, I visited the Khabar Garaun 1145 (Inform Us) helpline set up to support survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

In a small room, two operators respond tirelessly to callers as part of a 24 hour, seven days a week service. They assess callers’ needs, and refer them to receive legal aid, psycho-social support, child support and shelter. Each entry, whether it comes in by phone, email or text message, is carefully recorded through an online system, that eases the task of tracking and referring cases. The referrals connect them to response service providers including the Nepal Police, One-Stop Crisis Management Centers run by the Ministry of Health, and Non-Governmental Organizations.   

Since its launch by the National Women Commission (NWC) in December 2017, the helpline has received 1,938 calls from women seeking assistance to deal with GBV, with 180 cases being registered. Cases are registered only after a preliminary assessment is conducted, and immediate necessary support provided. It is heartening that so many survivors are coming forward to report cases. But the numbers are clearly alarming.  

Launching the NWC helpline
Launching the NWC helpline. Photo Credit: Richa Bhattarai/World Bank

There are various social restrictions that prevent women from speaking out and reporting incidents of gross injustice. With the introduction of the Khabar Garaun 1145 helpline, we hope that GBV survivors can find shelter, legal, psycho-social and remedial measures quickly and effectively. In fact, this is pioneering work by a government agency that can be a model for other countries, an innovation to note as we mark International Women’s Day. But it also illustrates the disturbing extent of GBV in Nepal, which is a leading cause of death for adult women. We need to eliminate GBV because it has devastating consequences on individuals, families and communities, along with large economic and social costs.   

Recently, an incident of a gang rape of a 21-year old woman was reported to the helpline. As follow up, the NWC counselor personally visited the survivor and traumatized family members and provided psychosocial and legal counseling, before referring the case. The survivor's husband was grateful for the support NWC provided – from counseling to collecting evidence and strengthening the case that resulted in a verdict to arrest perpetrators. “When our entire world seemed to collapse, this support helped restore a little of our faith in humanity,” he said. This is the kind of concrete support that is needed for women across the world. 

It’s time to #PressForProgress for Sri Lanka’s women!

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: සිංහල | தமிழ்
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.    

International Women’s Day is always an important marker in my calendar and this year’s theme #PressForProgress couldn’t be more exciting.
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.    
 
What’s the urgency?
 
Simply put, Sri Lanka is trailing behind many countries in its development bracket when it comes to working women. 
 
Did you know that 214,298 women over the age of 15 are unemployed in Sri Lanka today?  Sri Lanka’s female labor force participation or FLFP rate has stubbornly remained in the mid-thirties for the last two decades; out of an estimated 7.3 million people who are considered ‘economically inactive’ 73.8 percent are women, while just 26.2 percent are men.
 
It is clear this challenge is too great for any ministry, development partner or corporate office.
 
But why do Sri Lankan women need to get to work?
 
Because this country’s prosperity depends on it!  Sri Lanka is getting older before getting rich. Without a labor force the country cannot be competitive nor can it deliver on basic services that require revenue to be generated.
 
So, the question is, what will it take to really deliver change for Sri Lanka’s women? What are the challenges? How can we help motivate those able to energize change that will benefit women?    
 
The World Bank is ready to join the government, private sector, development partners and the citizens of Sri Lanka in supporting tangible initiatives which address the realities on the ground. We are going to advocate widely.
 
So, let’s start with a few important announcements. We want to learn from you. Tell us where we should start, and what specific issues need attention. We want to know what your challenges are, and who inspires you most.

இலங்கையில் பெண்களின் முன்னேற்றத்திற்காக உழைப்பதற்கான காலம் இது!

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: English | සිංහල
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
இன்று மார்ச் 8ம் திகதி தொடக்கம் உலக வங்கியைச் சேர்ந்த நாம் ஆரம்பித்துள்ள இந்த வேலைத்திட்டத்தினூடாக  நாட்டின் அரசாங்கம், அபிவிருத்திப் பங்காளர்கள், தனியார் துறையினர் மற்றும் பொதுமக்களையும் இணைத்துக் கொண்டு எங்ஙனம் இலங்கைப் பெண்களின் நிலையை முன்னேற்றும் விடயத்தில் சாதகமான பெறுபேறுகளை உண்மையாகவே அடையமுடியும் எனப் பார்க்கின்றோம்.

சர்வதேசப் பெண்கள் தினம் ,எனது நாட்காட்டியில் எப்போதுமே முக்கியத்துவம் மிகுந்த நாளாகும். அந்தவகையில் 'முன்னேற்றத்திற்காக பணியாற்றுவோம்' #PressForProgress என்ற இவ்வருடத்திற்கான தொனிப்பொருள் பெரும் உற்சாகத்தைத் தருவதாக அமைந்துள்ளது என்றால் மிகையாகாது.
 
இன்று மார்ச் 8ம் திகதி தொடக்கம் உலக வங்கியைச் சேர்ந்த நாம் ஆரம்பித்துள்ள இந்த வேலைத்திட்டத்தினூடாக  நாட்டின் அரசாங்கம், அபிவிருத்திப் பங்காளர்கள், தனியார் துறையினர் மற்றும் பொதுமக்களையும் இணைத்துக் கொண்டு எங்ஙனம் இலங்கைப் பெண்களின் நிலையை முன்னேற்றும் விடயத்தில் சாதகமான பெறுபேறுகளை உண்மையாகவே அடையமுடியும் எனப் பார்க்கின்றோம்.
 
ஏன் இந்த அவசரம்
 
எளிமையாகக் கூறுவதென்றால், தொழில்புரியும் பெண்களைப் பொறுத்தமட்டில் இலங்கை அதனையொத்த அபிவிருத்தி வீச்சிற்குள் இருக்கின்ற பல நாடுகளுடன் நோக்குகையில்  பின்தங்கிய நிலையில் காணப்படுகின்றது. இலங்கையிலுள்ள 15 வயதிற்கு மேற்பட்ட பெண்களில் 214, 298 பெண்கள் தொழிலற்றவர்களாக இருக்கின்றனர் என்பது உங்களுக்குத் தெரியுமா? 
 
இலங்கையின் தொழிற்படையில் பெண்களின் பங்கேற்பு வீதமானது கடந்த இருதசாப்தங்களில் 30களின் மத்தியிலேயே முன்னேற்றமின்றிக் காணப்படுகின்றது.  பொருளாதார ரீதியாக வினைத்திறன் அற்றவர்கள் எனக் கருதப்படுபவர்களாக கணிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ள 7.3 மில்லியன் மக்களில் 73.8 சதவீதமானவர்கள் பெண்களாக காணப்படும் அதேவேளை ஆண்களின் எண்ணிக்கை 26.2 சதவீதமாகக் காணப்படுகின்றது.  

ම‍ෙය ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවට “දියුණුව පි‍ණිස වැඩ කිරීමට“ කාලයයි.

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: English | தமிழ்
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
මාර්තු 8වන දින, එනම් අද දින පටන් ලෝක බැංකු වේ අප සැම රජය, අපගේ සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, පුද්ගලික අංශය සහ මහජනතාව හා එක්ව, වසරක් මුළුල්ලේ කර්තව්‍යයන් ප‍ෙළ ගස්වමින් ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය කාන්තාව වෙත සැබැවින්ම ප්‍ර‍තිඵල හිමිකර ද‍ෙන්නේ ක‍ෙසේ දැයි විමසා බලන්න‍ෙමු.  

ජාත්‍යන්තර කාන්තා දිනය සෑම කලකම මාගේ දින දසුන‍ෙහි සුවිශේෂී සලකුණකි. ම‍ෙවර එහි තේමාව වන ‘#දියුණුව පිණිස වැඩ කරමු’ යන්න උද්යෝගය දනවන්නක් නොවේ ද?
මාර්තු 8වන දින, එනම් අද දින පටන් අප ලෝක බැංකුව‍ මගින් සමාරම්භය ලබන මෙම වැඩසටහන, රජය, අපගේ සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, පුද්ගලික අංශය සහ මහජනතාව හා එක්ව, වසරක් මුළුල්ලේ කර්තව්‍යයන් ප‍ෙළ ගස්වමින් ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය කාන්තාව වෙත සැබැවින්ම ප්‍ර‍තිඵල හිමිකර ද‍ෙන්නේ ක‍ෙසේ දැයි විමසා බලන්න‍ෙමු.

කඩිනම් අවශ්‍යතාවය කුමක් ද?

සරලව ගත් කල, සේවා නියුක්තික කාන්තාවන් අංශයෙන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ගමන් කරන්නේ එහි සංවර්ධන කලාපයේ අන‍ෙකුත් රටවලට පසුපසිණි.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වයස අවුරුදු 15ට වැඩි කාන්තාවන් අතුරින් 214,298 ප්‍ර‍මාණයක් විරැකියාව‍ෙන් පසුවන බව ඔබ දන්නවා ද? පසුගිය දශක දෙක මුළුල්ලේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කාන්තා ශ්‍ර‍ම බලකා සහභාගීත්වය සියයට තිස් ගණන්වල පවතින්නේ ගණනය කර ඇති “ආර්ථික වශයෙන් අක්‍රීය“ මිලියන 7.3ක ජන සංඛ්‍යාවක් අතුරින් 73.8% ප්‍ර‍මාණයක් කාන්තාවන් බව වාර්තා වන පසුබිමක ය. පුරුෂයන් විෂයෙයහි එය යන්තමින් 26.2%ක අගයකි.

ඕනෑම එක් අමාත්‍යංශයකට, සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවකුට හෝ කලාපීය කාර්යාලයකට මෙය අභිමුඛ විය නොහැකි අභියෝගයක් බවට අටුවා ටීකා අනවශ්‍ය ය.

නමුත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන් සේවයට එක් විය යුත්තේ ඇයි?

ඒ රටෙහි සෞභාග්‍යය ඒ මත පදනම් වන නිසා ය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පොහොසත් වීමට ප්‍ර‍ථමය‍ෙන් වියපත් වන රටකි. නිසි ශ්‍ර‍ම බලකායක් නොමැතිව රටට තරඟකාරී විය නොහැකි අතරම අපේක්ෂිත ආදායම ජනනය කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය මූලික සේවාවන් ලබා දීමට ද නොහැකි ය.

එසේ නම් ගැටළු වනුයේ, ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන්ට ව‍ෙනසක් ළඟා කරලනු පිණිස කුමක් අවශ්‍ය වේ ද? අභියෝගයන් කවරේ ද? කාන්තාවන්ට ප්‍ර‍තිලාභ හිමි වන අන්දමේ ව‍ෙනසකට ශක්තියක් වීමට හැකියාව සහිතව උද්යෝගීමත්ව සිටින්නන්ට අපගේ සහය ලබා දිය හැක්කේ ක‍ෙසේ ද?

ලෝක බැංකුව, රජය, පුද්ගලික අංශය, සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, සහ ශ්‍රී ලාංකික පුරවැසියන් සමග අත්වැල් බැඳ ගනිමින් මිහිපිට සත්‍යයට ආමන්ත්‍ර‍ණය ක‍ෙර‍ෙන සැබෑ ප්‍රාරම්භයන්ට සහය වීමට සූදානමින් පසු වෙයි. අපි පුළුල් ලෙස උපදෙස් සැපයීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු.

ඉතින්, වැදගත් දැනුම් දීම් කිහිපයකින් පටන් ගනිමු. අපට ඔබග‍ෙන් ඉගනගැනීමට අවශ්‍යව ඇත. කියන්න, අප ආරම්භ කළ යුත්තේ කොතැනින් ද සහ කවර සුවිශේෂී  කරුණු කෙරෙහි අවධානයක් යොමු කළ යුතු ද කියා. ඔබට ඇති අභියෝග මෙන්ම ඔබව වැඩි වශයෙන්ම දිරි ගැන්වූයේ කවුරුන් ද යන්නත් අපට දැන ගැනීමට අවශ්‍යව ඇත.
 

Addressing violence against women in Pakistan: time to act now

Uzma Quresh's picture
Pakistan women gbv
The time is right to act on this issue in Pakistan. If we do not address violence against women and girls, sustainable growth will remain elusive.

Almost one in three married Pakistani women report facing physical violence from their husbands. The informal estimates are much higher. Such violence is not only widespread, it is also normalized. According to Bureau of Statistics, more than half of the women respondents in one province believe that it is ok for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances; and these attitudes are not much different in the rest of the country.
 
This violence also has serious implications on economic growth. Only 22% of women are formally reported to participate in the Pakistani workforce. Yet working is often not a choice and comes with risks.

This means some women face the risk of being sexually harassed, and assaulted by men outside their home if they choose to work. However, studies indicate that some women may also face violence within their households because of perceived dishonor and a threat to masculinity when they work outside the home. Intimate partner violence is expensive, in terms of medical cost, and missed days of work. However, what is harder to cost for is the psychological trauma due to violence that prevents women from achieving their full potential.

To improve female labour force participation in Sri Lanka, first change attitudes

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Sri Lankan Women
Read the feature story here 
Earlier this year in Hatton, I met a group of talented, young adults who had just participated in a social innovation pilot program. They were enthusiastic and dynamic, brimming with potential. But the potential to realize that potential was going to be influenced along gender lines; the expectations and obligations to the families were the most important determinants.   
 
I heard about some of these challenges. One girl had an ailing mother at home and was responsible for her care; another struggled to study on weekends while working on weekdays, with both activities requiring long commutes. One young lady, T. Priya, who had just graduated from university with a BA, told me she was currently unemployed because she was determined to wait for the right job—which to her, meant joining the public sector. You’d be amazed at how often I have heard this from young Sri Lankans. Unfortunately, as we all know too well, there are only a limited number of these positions available. 
Getting Sri Lanka's Women to Work


This week, the World Bank published Getting to Work: Unlocking Women’s Potential in Sri Lanka’s Labor Force. The report notes that the number of women participating in Sri Lanka’s workforce is low, that women under 30 are facing high rates of unemployment and that wage disparities still exist between the sexes.  
 
Among its findings is that women like Priya, despite having high educational attainments (university level or higher), still queue for a limited number of public sector jobs which raises their rates of unemployment. Government jobs are seen as offering more flexible hours and financial security than private sector jobs.
 
Another issue is that the burden of household responsibilities and chores fall disproportionately on women. When women got married, it made it harder, not easier, for them to go to work, and this was only exacerbated when women had children.
 
For men, the situation is somewhat different. As of 2015, marriage lowered the odds of Female Labour Force Participation by 4.4 percentage points, while boosting men’s odds by 11 percentage points.  
 
But I think the roots of this problem go deeper, and start early. Young girls learn that it’s not important to be good at maths or sciences and many more pursue degrees in humanities and the arts, widely considered gender appropriate, rather than in the technical skills that are in demand in the private sector and growing industries.
 
This is only one way in which we limit our daughters.

Towards a clean India

Guangzhe CHEN's picture

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, it marked the beginning of the world’s largest ever sanitation drive. Now, a 2017 survey by the Quality Council of India finds that access to toilets by rural households has increased to 62.45 per cent, and that 91 per cent of those who have a toilet, use it. Given India’s size and diversity, it is no surprise that implementation varies widely across states. Even so, the fact that almost every Indian now has sanitation on the mind is a victory by itself.

 Guy Stubbs

Achieving a task of this magnitude will not be easy. Bangladesh took 15 years to become open defecation free (ODF), while Thailand took 40 years to do so. Meeting sanitation targets is not a one-off event. Changing centuries-old habits of open defecation is a complex and long-term undertaking.

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