Empowerment means the process of giving power or authority to the powerless. Empowerment of women is a process through which women in general and a poor woman in particular gets the opportunity to join the workforce and contribute to family income and interfere on family as well as social affairs.
Women’s position in the past: In past women were segregated from out of home productive work. They were kept within the four walls. The hearth became the place for them. So, cooking, cleaning, washing, giving birth and rearing children became their jobs. Men became the wage earners and all other activities became their responsibilities. In Bangladesh position of the women is very humiliating. Women are the worst suffers.
Cause of disempowerment: There are many reasons of dis empowerment of women in Bangladesh. Of them the following reasons are the most important:-
Socio-culture and religious reasons
- Economic reasons: Majority of the women of our country haven’t any economic freedom. From their birth till death they depend on men. Though many of the women specially the rural women perform the job of rearing ducks and hens, post-harvest activities etc, nobody gives any credit for them. They are regarded as liability of the family. Until and unless they will be given economic freedom, women’s empowerment will not be possible.
- Socio-culture and religious causes: In Bangladesh women are the worst sufferers. Social prejudices and customs tend to degrade their position. When a girl is born in a poor family, it is not regarded as a happy event. They think that she has come as if to add to the sufferings to her parents. They seldom think of sending her to school. The parents try to find a husband for their daughter even before she attains physical and mental maturity. Then she enters her husband’s family that most often prove hostile to her. Most of the times if her dowry fall short of the expectation of her husband and his parents, they will insult and mistreat her. She may be threatened with divorce. She may be assaulted and in extreme cases she may even by tortured to death.
Necessity of women’s empowerment: Women are nowadays as important as men in society. They constitute nearly half of our total population. So, there can be no denying the fact that they too possess equal rights and duties as men. They have noble missions to fulfill as men. If they get opportunity, their genius and capacities will bloom fully. No nation can make the real progress keeping a full half of its population in the dark. So, women’s empowerment is essential.
Some practical measures should be taken for the empowerment of women in Bangladesh. The women should be made conscious of the fact that they have got all the potentialities in the socio-economic development of the country. They should be made self-sufficient by giving them proper education and employment. It should also be ensured that at workplace women get their desirable and just be changed.
During the last few decades women’s status has been changed greatly. Today women are playing important role in all spheres of life. Many of them have come out of the kitchens. They are working hand in hand with men in all spheres of work i.e. from garments workers to pilots, doctors, engineers, teachers, administrators etc.
Finally, now it has come to the realization to that entire if we want to keep pace with the challenge of the millennium, both men and women should work side by side. In this regard, the Bangladesh government along with the people from all strata of life should come forward to extend their whole hearted cooperation.