Speakers yesterday demanded greater budgetary allocation in the next national budget to foster women's empowerment and increasing their social status.
They made the demand from a seminar titled “National Budget 2015-16: Expectations of Women,” organised by Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Former senior research fellow of BIDS Dr Pratima Paul- Majumder presented the keynote paper.
Dr Majumder said the 2014-15 budget was particularly disappointing, as the total budgetary allocation for women, by bringing their empowerment into the fold of mainstream national development, has gone down even as the number of gender-sensitive projects has gone up.
Despite everything, women continue to lag behind men in terms of achieving parity in almost every field. Dr Majumder said this can be addressed, but programmes like vulnerable group development (VGD), vulnerable group feeding (VGF) or microcredit won't be able to ensure the ultimate development of women. Rather, she advised ensuring proper budgetary allocation in women's education, health, safe housing, transportation and training IT sector.
Allocation for women's health went down by 4 percent in the 2014-15 budget from the 2013-14 allocation.
Former Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali attended the seminar as chief guest. Chaired by BNPS Executive Director Rokeya Kabir, Dr Saima Haq Bidisha, UN women's program coordinator Tapati Shaha also spoke on the occasion.