LEDARS organized National Dialogue on ‘Women Workers’ Position in Shrimp Industry: Reality and Actions’ at the Members of Parliament Club at National Parliament presided over by Mr. Nikhil Chandra Bhadra, Coordinator of the Sundarbans and Coastal Protection Movement on September 30, 2023 by the support of Oxfam in Bangladesh and European Union. Honourable Deputy Speaker Md. Shamsul Haque Tuku was present as the Chief Guest while Special Guests were Deputy Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, MP, Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment Begum Shamsun Nahar MP, were present as special guests.
The Chief Guest Deputy Speaker Md. Shamsul Haque Tuku urged the government, owners and workers to work together to resolve the problems of women workers in the shrimp industry. He said comprehensive efforts needed to protect shrimp workers’ rights. He also said
“If the owners don’t see the interests of the workers, the workers will also not see the interests of the owners. So, along with the government, the industry owners, and shrimp workers have to work together to solve the problems by applying right strategies,” at this national dialogue on ‘Position of Women Workers in Shrimp Industry: Reality and Actions’. He also said that the shrimp sector, which is one of the foreign exchange earners of the country, is under threat in many ways. He said, the women workers involved in the shrimp sector are being oppressed in various ways. In order to ensure national development, the rights of these backward women must be ensured. We have to work to eliminate all the existing discrimination against women to ensure economic and political empowerment of women, he added. Deputy Minister Habibur Nahar, MP said that the country’s shrimp sector is facing various conspiracies. She said “women workers in this sector are decreasing day by day due to lower wages and longer working hours than men,” and she added that the government should take initiative to solve the ongoing crisis in a quick time.
Mr. Mohan Kumar Mondal, Executive Director of LEDARS presented the keynote paper while Mr. Sharif Jamil Coordinator of Waterkeepers-Bangladesh, Mr. Mir Mohammad Ali Assistant Professor of Shere Bangla Agricultural University, Ms. Halima Begum, Project officer of Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, former President of Dhaka Reporters Unity Club Mr. Rafiqul Islam Azad, Ms. Shahajadi Begum Oxfam in Bangladesh’s representative and Mr. Aminur Rasul Babul joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), also delivered their speeches among others. This dialgoue also addressed others including Mr. Amiya Prapan Chakraborty, CEO of D-Net, Mr. Isahak Faruki, a Simavi Advocate, Mr. Mahbubul Haque, Project Manager of KaPa, Mr. Akmal Hossen, President of the Teachers’ Association, M. Abu Saleh Babu, Chairman of Satkhira Upazila Parishad and so on. The dialogue was organized under the project of Empowering Women through Civil Society Actors in Bangladesh (EWCSA), funded by Oxfam in Bangladesh and European Union.