Amrai Pari changing women's lives in slums
12:00 AM, November 16, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:38 AM, November 16, 2017

Amrai Pari changing women's lives in slums

Bibi Amena has been serving as a domestic worker in the capital's Mohammadpur area for several years but was never introduced to modern home appliances.

Now she knows how to use toaster, blender, vacuum cleaner that are widely used in the household today thanks to a training by SHOKHI, a project implemented by Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jote, an alliance of women rights organisations.

This gives her not only the confidence she needed but also an opportunity to earning a better wage.

"When I told my madam I know how to use these electronic equipment, she was very happy. She raised my monthly wage from Tk 5,000 to Tk 6,000," said Bibi Amena, 30, a resident of Rayer Bazar.

Like Amena, at least 1,000 women, who were given the training with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, were given the certificates at a programme at the city's Liberation War Museum on Tuesday.

Members of the alliance have been training the women of marginalised communities at 15 slums in the capital since 2015. The trades of the vocational training include driving, electronics, home management, cooking and beverage, sewing and computer.

Salma Akhter, another woman who received the training and is now earning for her family, said her husband used to abuse her for trivial matters. Now that she has launched a food business and earns for the family, his previous attitude changed immensely.

"My husband knows I am solvent and no longer dependent on him. Now he helps me sell soup and noodles to the passers-by at my roadside shop," Salma said as she was sharing her experience at the programme.

Amrai Pari [We Can] Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jote Chairperson Sultana Kamal said, "We need to be educated, skilled and independent and earn money to avail all citizen rights."

She said women should be equipped with training so that they can run their own life instead of depending on men.

Acid Survivors Foundation Executive Director Selina Ahmed congratulated the women who received the training and have already been contributing to the socioeconomic sphere of life.

"It is a constant fight to establish a discrimination-free society and put an end to violence against women," she observed.

State Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Mashiur Rahman Ranga suggested that women should get involved in cooperative societies that can help them get loan and investment in income-generating activities.

Dr Annie Vestjens, first secretary of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, said they can see a positive change in women's life through the SHOKHI intervention.

"They should be role models of the society," she said.

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