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Unplanned industrialization hits livelihoods of rural women

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Staff Reporter
Unplanned industrialization grabbing arable lands and the rampant use of pesticide and chemical fertilizers in agriculture are directly posing a threat to the livelihoods of rural women, speakers told a discussion in the capi-tal yesterday.
They said the rural women of Bangladesh are historically playing an important role in household works and agriculture, particularly food production, and they have brought about a revolutionary change in crop produc-tion by applying their indigenous knowledge.
But, the women, particularly those involved in agriculture and food production, are suffering losses in many ways in the era of corporate globalization, the discussants said.
Oxfam, a world-wide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty, organized the discussion at the National Press Club in the capital marking the World Rural Women’s Day.
Parliament whip Mahabub Ara Begum Gini, Shireen Akhter, MP, advocate Altab Ali, MP, Oxfam country director Snehal V Soneji, its manager (Policy and Advocacy) Monisha Biswas and director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Rina Roy, among others, spoke at the meeting.
The speakers said the multinational companies’ aggression in agriculture is gradually posing a great threat to the rural women involved in food production.
The country’s biodiversity is also under threat due to the uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, and setting up of industries grabbing arable land, they added.
Whip Mahabub Ara said rural women in Bangladesh are playing a major role in ensuring food security, but their contributions are yet to be recognized.
Shireen Akhter said Bangladesh has achieved a marked progress in food production as nobody dies for lack of food, but it is time to ensure balanced and nutritious food for all.
About the contributions of rural women, she said they grow many agricultural produces successfully, but do not get the fair price for lack marketing.