Women workers are still paid less than men in agriculture and construction sectors in the country, revealed a study conducted on 68 female and 51 male labourers.
Key findings of the study titled “Economic Justice for Women” were presented by Ranjan Karmakar, executive director of Steps Towards Development (STD), at a seminar in Cirdap auditorium in the capital yesterday.
According to the findings, 32 percent of the female respondents get less than Tk 100 a day while the percentage of the male respondents earning the same wages is only 6.
It also showed that 56 percent of the male workers get Tk 200-400 daily where only 7 percent of the women workers get the same amount in similar jobs.
The study recommended that the government declare a minimum wage for “informal” labour sectors like agriculture and construction to reduce gender based wage discriminations.
Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra Sultana Kamal said the struggle for equal wages for women have been continuing since 1857.
The earnings gap reflects the discrimination that women face in their family lives as well. “Both injustices need to be addressed”, she added.
Conducted by STD with the support of World Vision Bangladesh, the study also looked at the condition of small women entrepreneurs and interviewed 83 of them.
It found that 47 percent of the women sell their products from the production site and do not have the opportunity to participate in the competitive market. Only 4 percent of female entrepreneurs can take the products to a nearby town.
The main reason why women entrepreneurs could not go far from their homes to find a better market is that they had to look after the household chores besides running the businesses.
Meher Afroze Chumki, state minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs; Ayesha Khanam, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad; MM Akash, professor of economics of Dhaka University, also spoke at the event.