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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.
 

Sri Lanka at 70: Looking back and forward

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
A view from the Independence day parade.At 70, Sri Lanka has accomplished a lot in its seven decades as an independent nation.
A view from the 2018 Independence Day parade. At 70, Sri Lanka has accomplished a lot in its seven decades as an independent nation. Credit: World Bank

Like many Sri Lankans across the country, I joined Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day festivities earlier this month. This was undoubtedly a joyful moment, and proof of the country’s dynamism and stability. At 70, Sri Lanka has accomplished a lot in its seven decades as an independent nation.
 
The country’s social indicators, a measure of the well-being of individuals and communities, rank among the highest in South Asia and compare favorably with those in middle-income countries. In the last half-century, better healthcare for mothers and their children has reduced maternal and infant mortality to very low levels.
 
Sri Lanka’s achievements in education have also been impressive. Close to 95 percent of children now complete primary school with an equal proportion of girls and boys enrolled in primary education and a slightly higher number of girls than boys in secondary education.
 
The World Bank has been supporting Sri Lanka’s development for more than six decades. In 1954, our first project, Aberdeen-Laxapana Power Project, which financed the construction of a dam, a power station, and transmissions lines, was instrumental in helping the young nation meet its growing energy demands, boost its trade and develop light industries in Colombo, and provide much-needed power to tea factories and rubber plantations. In post-colonial Sri Lanka, this extensive electrical transmission and distribution project aimed to serve new and existing markets and improve a still fragile national economy.
 
Fast forward a few decades and Sri Lanka in 2018 is a far more prosperous and sophisticated country than it was in 1954 and, in many ways, has been a development success story. Yet, the island nation still faces some critical challenges as it strives to transition to another stage of its development and become a competitive upper middle-income country.
 
Notably, the current overreliance on the public-sector as the main engine for growth and investment, from infrastructure to healthcare, is reaching its limits.  With one of the world’s lowest tax to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios -- 12% in 2016, down from 24% in 1978 —Sri Lanka’s public sector is now facing serious budget constraints and the country needs to look for additional sources of finance to boost and sustain its growth.
 
As outlined in its Vision 2025, the current government has kickstarted an ambitious reform agenda to help the country move from a public investment to a more private investment growth model to enhance competitiveness and lift all Sri Lankans’ standards of living.
 
Now is the time to steer this vision into action. This is urgent as Sri Lanka is one of the world’s most protectionist countries and one of the hardest to start and run a business. As it happens, private foreign investment is much lower than in comparable economies and trade as a proportion of GDP has decreased from 88% in 2000 to 50% in 2016. Reversing this downward trend is critical for Sri Lanka to meet its development aspirations and overcome the risk of falling into a permanent “middle-income trap.”

Can cash transfers solve Bangladesh’s malnutrition?

Rubaba Anwar's picture
Silvi and her mother arrive with Silvi’s birth certificate to enroll into Jawtno. a cash transfer program aimed to help 600,000 poor families in Bangladesh access prenatal and child care.
Silvi and her mother arrive with Silvi’s birth certificate to enroll into Jawtno. a cash transfer program that aims to help 600,000 poor families in Bangladesh access prenatal and child care. Credit: World Bank


Silvi is eight months old. She lives in a remote village in one of the poorest regions of Bangladesh.
 
Her mother Maya often reflects on her pregnancy and worries about her daughter’s wellbeing as she recalls her morning sickness, the uncertain and painful birth, and the long nights at Silvi’s side as the baby lay wide awake wailing, fighting one illness after the other.
 
She remembers, too, the thrills of hearing Silvi giggle at the sound of her rattle, and when she began to crawl.
 
Despite the little joys that her baby brings to Maya, Silvi’s early childhood was marked with apprehension: Shouldn’t she be a little heavier? When will she learn to walk? Will she be healthy and intelligent enough to earn a decent living when she grows up? Or would she be handed down her parents’ poverty and get married like Maya had to, at only sixteen?
 
But with the right kind of support, Silvi can have a chance at a better life and bring her family out of poverty.
 
Growing evidence has shown that adequate nutrition before birth and the two years after – or in the first 1,000-days – has lasting effects on a child’s intelligence and brain development.
 
When they’re properly fed and exposed to learning, children can reach their full potential and break the poverty trap.
 
Thus, investing in early childhood nutrition and cognitive development (CNCD) is critical to curbing poverty in a country like Bangladesh, where 36 percent of children below the age of 5 are stunted —or too short for their age--, low birth weight is prevalent, and maternal nutrition remains poor.
 
Sadly, poor families like Maya’s are not utilizing services available to them.  

Colombo: Beyond concrete and asphalt

Darshani De Silva's picture
To ensure their city remains sustainable, Colombo’s citizens need to co-exist and build harmonious relationships with natural ecosystems and the biodiversity that thrives in them
To ensure their city remains sustainable, Colombo’s citizens need to co-exist and build harmonious relationships with natural ecosystems and the biodiversity that thrives in them

Protecting nature in Sri Lanka’s capital for resilience and sustainability

The world is urbanizing at a very fast pace – but it seems like Sri Lanka is an exception.

In 2014, the island was listed as one of the least urbanized countries in the World Urbanization Prospects (WUP),  with less than 20 percent of the population in urban areas. By 2050, WUP projected that number would rise to only 30 percent.
 
Does this mean we still have to worry about the country’s urbanization? The short answer is yes.

This is, after all, an island nation with one of the highest population densities, complex and evolving social systems and intricate ecosystems.

Meanwhile, urbanization, even at relatively slower pace, is still changing migration patterns, altering the way urban populations consume resources, and impacting the affordability of land and other assets.

These, in turn, are increasing the demand for resources. Growing inequality can be seen as a result of the displacement of less affluent communities, while the loss of important ecosystems has negatively affected resilience and sustainability.

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