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Serious lack in rights of working women

Published : 23 Feb 2020 08:32 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 10:11 AM
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When women’s engagement in work is on the rise, their basic rights like housing, security and safety have not yet been ensured. Rather their condition deteriorated rapidly in many ways as they are still facing accommodation crisis that has already made their lives miserable, several female workers said.

“When we fail to get a house or a seat in a mess, we usually fall prey to local hoodlums or other brokers as they assure us of providing a room. But after a few days, these organised people start harassing and humiliating us in many ways like sexual abuse,” Anzju Ara, a worker of a garment factory at Tongi, told Bangladesh Post.

The number of working women is increasing day by day, but in proportion to the expansion of their work scope, their opportunities and facilities, including safety and security, have not been increased. The biggest problem for working women and females is safe accommodation in the capital.

Although female hostels and students' messes have been established in the neighborhoods of Dhaka, their security still remains a big issue.
The number of women staying in government hostels in Dhaka is just over 1,000 against over 50 lakh working women in urban areas of the country.

For better education, health, work and so on, students from all over the country come and stay in Dhaka, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Sultana Kamal, a single woman with a child living in the capital’s Azimpur area, said, “If you’re a single woman most of the house owners won’t rent their houses to you. I have a question to all, is being a single woman is a crime?”

She also said, “We are developing but our mindset has not developed for women. A single woman who wants to live with a child has to arrange for herself and her child in her own capacity”. Honors second-year student Kaniz Fatema at the Eden Women’s College said, “Now the problem of militancy has emerged, so house owners are afraid of renting their houses to women.”

She mentioned that divorce or married women have the opportunity to stay in working women hostels but still there is also a lot of competition to get a seat there, as the number of such hostels is very small. Women rights activist Parvin Rahman, who is a member of Naripokkho, a platform working for women rights, said, “There is need to have a hostel for working women in each district.”

Positive changes in the mentality of people in every family and society are needed to strengthen the movement of women's rights, she stressed. Social Science Professor at University of Dhaka Sadeka Halim said, “The involvement of girls in work is higher than before. Women are more inclined to work to earn a living, self-esteem and social dignity.”

“On the other hand, thousands of women flock to the capital every year to attend universities. The majority of these working women and students come from the rural areas. But they do not have adequate housing facilities,” she said.