Monday, May 04, 2009

Road building project in Bangladesh to employ poor women

A government funded road building project will employ poor women to help them climb out of poverty. Bangladesh announced the new project yesterday that will employ over 24,000 women. The employment will not only give the women a wage but will also deposit money into savings accounts set up for them.

This story from The New Nation details the project for us.

The women, mostly widow, divorced and abandoned were employed under a two-year contract for rural road maintenance and getting Taka 100 per day.

The initiative was taken under a Local government division project titled 'Rural Employment Opportunities for Public Assets (REOPA),' being implemented at a cost of 28.55 crore with financial assistance of European Commission and UNDP.

Of the daily wage, each of the women will get Taka 70 and rest Taka 30 will be deposited as savings in their own bank accounts, as they could use the savings in various income generation activities in future.

This was revealed on Monday at a media dialogue, organised by the local government division at the Jatiya Press Club here to exchange views with the journalists about different aspects of the project. Senior journalist Farid Hossain moderated the discussion while project director of REOPA Akmal Hossain, leader of the international team of REOPA project Goran Jonson and counselor of European Commission Dr Klaus Dieter Gautsch spoke.

Five women of the project beneficiaries were also present on the occasion.

Akmal Hossain said the objective of the project will significantly contribute to poverty alleviation in rural areas and mainstreaming destitute women into development activities in line with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and Bangladesh's Commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Thirty destitute women have been employed from each of the 388 unions at first phase and 33 destitute women each at second phase for maintenance of 30 kilometre rural road of each union annually. After completion of the two-year cycle, the women would be involved themselves in various income generating activities as they will get nearly Taka 22,000 from their savings. "During the project period we are also providing various training like cow and goat rearing and poultry as the women could be able to sustain their present socio-economic condition," Akmal said.

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