Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) organized a national seminar on Sunday in cooperation with the Asian development Bank (ADB) under the project “Enabling Poor Women’s Participation in the Renewable Energy Sector in Bangladesh”.
The Seminar was held with the presence of Mr. M A Mannan, MP, State Minister, Ministry of Finance as the chief guest while Mr. Tariq-Ul-Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children affairs was the guest of honor. Selima Ahmad, President of BWCCI chaired over the program. Various stakeholders including representatives from Asian Development bank, member of parliament, representative of Bangladesh Power Development Board, different national and international NGO’s, women activists, representatives from electronic and print media, general members and directors of BWCCI along with women participants from Hatiya were also present in the event.
In her speech BWCCI President Ms. Selima Ahmad said that if Bangladesh wants to become a mid income country, micro level women entrepreneurs must get comprehensive and structured support to flourish as successful entrepreneurs. With this end in view, BWCCI worked towards building the capacity of 400 rural women by giving them training on improved cook stove making and installation as well as different alternative livelihood training. As a result of this venture 10% women from the project participants are now involved with different kinds of entrepreneurial activities which has moved them one step ahead towards economic empowerment. She also added that if more awareness raising and capacity building training could be given, these micro level women would one day become capable of controlling their own income, taking decisions for the betterment of their own and family lives and contribute significantly in the country’s economy. Later, she made a brief presentation on the implemented project and shared the challenges and learning of this project. She concluded her speech by convening all to strengthen their support to achieve women’s economic development in Bangladesh.
Mr. Tariq-Ul-Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs said that it is impossible to achieve sustainable development and progress as a democratic nation without the active participation of women in mainstream economic activities. He said that the project that BWCCI implemented to development the capacity of rural women of Hatiya in renewable energy sector is indeed praiseworthy. He then added that not only in Hatiya Island, but BWCCI is playing a key role in developing women entrepreneurs in all over Bangladesh. Concluding his speech he gave reassurance to support women entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh and all activities of BWCCI in this relation.
Speaking as the chief guest Mr. M A Mannan, MP, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of finance said that BWCCI has facilitated poor rural women of Hatiya to enable their participation in renewable energy sector in Bangladesh and get involved in different income generating activities which as a whole contributed to the social and economic development of the country. For this initiative, I thank BWCCI and ADB. He said that, the present Government considers women entrepreneurship development issue as highly important and has taken some strong initiatives to support that. At the same time, he said that, the government has integrated the issue of environment conservation with its mainstream development iniatives. He then said that, it is also necessary to encourage and train women to start enterprises in new diversified sectors rather than old traditional ones. Through this project BWCCI has done something which not only capacitated women entrepreneurs to start business in renewable energy sector but also will contribute in keeping the health of the women herself and her family also. He assured to continue to provide his support in all BWCCI’s development activities to bringing economic empowerment for women.