The 29-year-old Salma does work of breaking bricks. She has to present in city’s Matuail area by 6 to 6.30 am every day
for the work and she has also to bring her seven-month-old baby boy.
Salma, who has been living in Jatrabari, works in Matuail till 7 pm at a stretch. She gets only a 45-minute break for lunch. As her kid stays with
her, she sometimes gets a scope for his take care.
Fahmida is a banker by profession. She married another banker two years back. They were blessed with a baby girl within one year of their marriage. Their daily life is almost identical to Salma.
Fahmida, who resides in the capital’s Madhya Badda, said: “I have to reach my office at Gulshan-1 by 9:30 am every day. After getting up from sleep at 6:30 am, I prepare breakfast for all and becoming fresh and having breakfast, when I reach at the road to board the office vehicle, the time is 8.20 am.”
She continued saying: “After attending the office, I reach my home at 7:30 pm. On the way (home), I take my kid from my father’s house. After that, I lull the kid to sleep. The clock strikes 11:30 pm when we finish dinner after cooking.”
Like Salma and Fahmid, millions of women are simultaneously dealing their work and family in this way.
According to a survey conducted by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), a working woman works two times more than a man. But its importance is not visible as financial evaluation of any domestic work is not made.The 2016-17 BBS survey on labour force mentioned the domestic work doubled the burden of the working women.
According to the survey in the family where both husband and wife are doing jobs, woman consists 85 percent does coooking. The rate of working men who does this work is only 2.5 percent.
Besides, 89 females out of 100 themselves wash clothes. On the other hand, 12 percent males themselves wash their own clothes. Mainly other women or domestic help washing the clothes of other males of the house.
Fifty-three percent of the working women look after other family members like children, elderly and sick. But only 21 percent working men perform this duty. On the other hand, alongside the job 26 percent working women discharge responsibilities for purchase of the family needs.
According to the survey beyond these works, the participation of the working women in other works is more than the working men. It also said the
working women do not get adequate rest.
Human rights activist Advocate Manowara Haque said the country witnessed massive women development and empowerment during the present Awami League government. For this reason, the women are becoming financially solvent and the country is advancing.
“But it’s a matter of regret that though the participation of women in labour market is increasing, they have to do domestic work regularly. They
are yet to get rid of this.”
On the other hand, though many male members attend office less time than their wives, they do not do any work of the house or do not extend
cooperation to them (wives).
Furthermore, many families give conditions they have to first look after the family, husband and children, then they can do work outside. Accepting
this condition, most of the women go outside of the house and do work.
The human rights activists think that it is a matter of hope that many women are now engaged in the labour market strengthening further their
empowerment and freedom.
But they are being deprived of getting the taste of this empowerment and freedom and their mental peace is being hampered as the society puts an excessive burden of labour on them.
They, however, believe that with the development of the country, the burden of excessive labour on them will be reduced and the males will fully
cooperate the women in domestic works.
The survey showed a positive trend that the women’s participation in the labour market is increasing gradually.
According to the survey, the number of women included in the labour force was nearly two crore in 2016-17 fiscal year against 1.91 crore of the
The survey also showed that the number of males included in the labour force in 2016-17 was 4.35 crore against 4.31 crore of the previous fiscal.