Women workers of small ethnic group are making important contribution to agriculture in Tarash Upazila of Sirajganj, known as the granary of the district. Pushing away all obstacles and hindrances, these women workers of the village are moving forward silently in the fields working on an equal footing with the men. Together with the men of the family, they themselves also work as daily wage earners and now they are economically self-sufficient and have brought wealth to the family.
If you look at the Upazila’s crop fields, you will see women working in groups. They are all women workers. Most of these women of different ages belong to minority groups. After finishing all the household chores in the morning, they go to the field with their men for daily wages. They work as laborers in the cultivation of all crops, from sowing mustard seeds to planting paddy. They work together with the male workers in the fields, scorched by the sun and wet by the rain. At the end of the day, their wages provide additional income to the family. Men and women of the family earn good money by doing daily wages. They earn a lot of money by working in this way throughout the year. With which they are providing education to boys and girls with annual savings to meet the needs of the family.
The picture was not like that even a decade ago. These women of small ethnic groups did housework at home. The men of the family used to earn from their daily wages. The men of this very poor community struggled to run the family on a single income. They could not educate boys and girls. In various campaigns for the advancement of women, the women of the ethnic groups slowly entered the field, leaving behind all the obstacles. Many poor and helpless women have also taken care of their families by working as agricultural workers.
In the field of Katagari village of Desigram union of the upazila, a group of women workers can be seen threshing Boro paddy. Kajli Rani of this village said that she has been working as a laborer in the field for a long time. After finishing the household work in the morning, she works as a laborer in the field. She gets a daily wage of Tk 350. But if she works on contract, she can get a little more. She is supporting her family with this money and is educating her sons and daughters.
Suchitra Rani, a college student of the same village, said that she is studying Political Science in Sirajganj Government College. As her father is a day laborer, she has been working as an agricultural laborer in the fields since her childhood and is paying for her own education.Bulbuli Khatun and Nasima Khatun, widows of Vadas village of Madhainagar union of Tarash upazila, said that they are widows. The husband died leaving several young sons and daughters in the family. They work as agricultural laborers in the fields, looking after the women of the small ethnic groups. She is supporting the family with the income she earns, and is educating her children. These women complain that they do not get equal wages even though they do the same work as male workers. Males get Tk 400/500 and they get Tk 350.
Tarash upazila agricultural worker Abdallah Al Mamun said that women of small ethnic groups in Tarash upazila work as laborers in the fields on an equal basis with men throughout the year. They labor in all kinds of crops from weaving to harvesting at the farmer's house. Because of this, there is no shortage of workers during harvesting. They are handling domestic and day wages equally. In this, they have brought prosperity to the family by earning extra income. Women workers are making a big contribution to the agricultural production of these two upazilas.
Awareness is being raised through local public representatives so that they get equal wages to male workers. We are also working on our own.
According to the information of Tarash Upazila Agriculture Department, there are at least 5 to 6 thousand women agricultural workers in this upazila. Which is playing a big role in the agricultural production in the region.