Minimum wages demanded for informal sectors

Staff Correspondent

Right campaigners on Sunday asked the government to declare minimum wages for the informal sector to reduce gender-based wage discriminations.
The informal sector’s large women workforce in Bangladesh suffers gender based wage discriminations, discussants told a discussion. World Vision Bangladesh and Steps towards Development jointly organized the session at the CIRDAP Auditorium.
In his research paper, Steps executive director Ranjan Karmakar said that the country’s 81 per cent of the small women entrepreneurs engage in business activities for economic solvency, 3.6 per cent following family traditions, 2.4 per cent out of hobby and 13 per cent to become self reliant.
The research paper reveals that most of the 89 per cent of women entrepreneurs having invested less than Tk 50, 000 have no direct access to the competitive market.
And at least 82 per cent of the women own in the country own no property or the right to inherit despite their immense contributions, show the research paper titled ‘Economic justice for women: fair wage, rights on resources and property, and Market Access Perspectives.
In Bangladesh more than 87 per cent of the workers are engaged by the informal sector which offers no minimum wage, acknowledged Labour and Employment Ministry joint secretary (International Organisations) Khondaker Mostan Hossain.
Economist M M Akash recommended declaration of minimum wages for the workers of construction and agriculture sectors which employ a huge number of women workers.
Akash said that the women workers suffer huge wage discriminations in both the vital sectors.
Former caretaker government adviser and equal rights campaigner Sultana Kamal said blasted the government for its failure to make the Hindu marriage registration law mandatory.
She demanded to know on what footing the ruling Awami League claims that it was a secular and pro liberation party after it played hide and seek with the rights of Hindu women.
Sultana Kamal expressed doubts about AL’s secular and democratic credentials.
ICDDR,B gender specialist Farzana Majid said that for tolerating TV  advertisements that were so gender insensitive nowadays the society needed  psycho therapy.

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