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How Internet is Empowering Women in Bangladesh

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How Internet is Empowering Women in Bangladesh

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How Internet is Empowering Women in Bangladesh

  1. 1. Status of Women in ICT in Bangladesh Professor Dr. Suraiya Pervin Department of Computer Science & Engineering University of Dhaka & Vice President, Professionals Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT)
  2. 2. In Bangladesh, women play a central role in family But they often remain invisible and unheard. Women more than men have to balance the complexities of surviving, yet they are excluded from discussion because : • They are often more illiterate. • They have relatively lower access to and control over resources • They have no economic independence • They lack confidence and mobility General status of women in Bangladesh
  3. 3. (i)  Women’s increased access to job market (ii)  Improve entrepreneurship (iii)  Increase of average household income in villages (iv)  Women empowerment (v)  Shrinking information asymmetry (vi)  Improved governance (vii)  Easy-family communication (viii) Increase social awareness ICT offers the opportunities for direct, interactive communication even by those who lack skills, who are illiterate and lack mobility. Here are some aspects of life which have a direct influence of ICT especially on women: Role of ICT
  4. 4. ISSUES But still now, the participation of women in ICT is very low in Bangladesh. Topics of discussion: •  Status of women in ICT in Bangladesh. •  Reasons of their very poor presence. •  Recommendations.
  5. 5. Women in IC T academic sector At present, in the faculty of engineering & technology, DU, the number of female teachers is 15% In Engg. departments of BUET, less than 5% In other public universities 10% -20% In private universities 10% -25% Number of girl students is 10% – 20%
  6. 6. Girls in Programming & other contests Very poor presence (almost 5%) Among top 20 teams, number of girls is only 2% In other ICT related contests the scenario is almost same
  7. 7. Women in ICT job sectors Number of female executives: 10% Number of female senior executives: • In Bangladesh Bank : 1 • In Microsoft, Bangladesh : 1 • In DELL, Bangladesh : 1 • In Airtel : 1
  8. 8. Women as ICT entrepreneurs As women entrepreneurs, 26 are involved in Software Companies of BASIS (Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services) members (597) Only 4.36%.
  9. 9. Women as ICT freelancers Online work appeals to women for three main reasons: • The diversity of projects provides more learning opportunities • It enables women to spend more time at home with family • It's easier to find jobs online than compete for a full-time job
  10. 10. In Bangladesh: Total Freelancer : almost 1 Lakh Active freelancer : 20 Thousands Female freelancer : 25% where worldwide the figure is 48%. Area of job specially for women : Web design, search engine optimization (SEO), call center agent, email management etc. Average income per month : $200 Highest income per month : $3000 (very few) Women as ICT freelancers contd…
  11. 11. Women as ICT users • Mobile phones are widely used by women for personal communication and financial transactions. • Young women use mainly social networks • Few senior women use internet to communicate with their children stay abroad
  12. 12. Status of women in ICT • Most of the female students score high grades. • They get jobs through open competition. • Most of them prefer teaching. Otherwise, they choose corporate jobs. • There is no salary discrimination • Most of the women are very sincere But unfortunately, their drop out rate is very high
  13. 13. •  Social concept about women : §  Women are less intelligent. §  They are not very active. §  They are weak in mathematics. §  Engineering profession is not suitable for them (because of field study, lack of self employment) §  Teaching and medical professions are the most suitable for them (As a result, many women suffers technology phobia.). Reasons of poor presence
  14. 14. • Social concept about women : § Her primary duty is to maintain family. Career is secondary. § If conflict arises between career and family then carrier must be sacrificed § A lady should not be careerist / professional § Sexual harassment may occur in work place Reasons of poor presence contd
  15. 15. •  Family responsibility : Children care Senior members and patients care Satisfy demands of relatives Manage house maids Cooking, cleaning etc. Only superwomen can maintain all sides equally Reasons of poor presence contd
  16. 16. •  Job drop out rate is very high because of: §  Marriage and children §  Accompanying husbands to other places or abroad In the present social structure, it is very difficult for a mother to adjust with deadline based working culture Reasons of poor presence contd
  17. 17. •  Responsibility about children §  In our society, mothers are responsible to meet all the requirements of a baby (many times they have to bear financial responsibility also). §  Earning money is the only duty of fathers. §  For children, many women Do not avail higher degrees or promotion Many quit their job. Reasons of poor presence contd
  18. 18. Tragedy of women As a result: Many women become patients of various psychosomatic disorders Sometimes they are madly running after children’s career which becomes a torture to them
  19. 19. Tragedy of women contd •  For a highly paid unmarried woman, it is very difficult for her to select a life partner. •  Grownup children very often recognize mother’s sacrifice
  20. 20. National Loss •  In reputed universities number of seats are very limited. So every student gets admission through very tough competition. •  For each public university student, government provides a significant subsidy ( 1,00,000 BDT per year). •  If a large number of these students can not provide service it is a big national loss.
  21. 21. The survey discovered that the following attributes are very important for information security persons: • Communication skills • Broad understanding of the security field • Awareness and understanding of the latest security threats • Technical knowledge • Security policy formulation and application • Leadership skills • Business management skills  Gender gap: Why information security needs more women By Michael Kassner in IT Security, November 4, 2013 A recent survey
  22. 22. A recent survey contd
  23. 23. Recommendations •  To convert the dream of digital Bangladesh into a reality, huge manpower is needed. Present manpower will not be sufficient to meet the requirement. •  It is not possible to proceed without active participation of women. To encourage women, we need to take some steps
  24. 24. Recommendations contd •  Change the mind-set of boys and girls. Superiority complex grows in boys’ mind-set. On the other hand girls are suffering in inferiority complex because of: §  Discrimination in family §  Discrimination in academic curriculum §  Discrimination in media
  25. 25. • Encourage girls to be professional : She has to realize that professionalism is a virtue. Her career is as important as her husband’s or brother’s career. • Improve working environment : Arrange separate fresh rooms in every office, Provide transports, specially at night. Should be careful about sexual harassment. Recommendations contd
  26. 26. • Parents must share the responsibility of the kids equally. Society and State should provide support for that. • Six months maternity leave is not a solution. It has already created other issues. In many sectors, employment of girls is unofficially discouraged. • Setup child care center in every office should be mandatory. • Setup schools for whole day with extra-curricular activities. Recommendations contd
  27. 27. Recommendations contd •  Dispel stereotypes that boys are better than girls in technical subjects. •  Celebrate more women in technology and science •  Set female role models in technology related careers. •  Provide mentoring support for women •  Include gender related issues in national ICT policy •  Organize special ICT training programs for women
  28. 28. •  Increase the number of seats at undergraduate and graduate levels in CSE and ICT related departments •  Create awareness of the opportunities in ICT amongst school and college girls and their parents •  Universities and companies should encourage girls to become interested in science, engineering and technology Recommendations contd
  29. 29. M. J. Rumi, the celebrated Persian Sufi saint and poet, asked in ‘Masnavi’ “What is the wing of a person?” The answer is “only aspiration” But from the very childhood, family and social environment try to destroy aspiration of a woman As a result, she becomes a bird with broken wings
  30. 30. References • ww1.ucmss.com/books/LFS/CSREA2006/EEE4168.pdf • www.techrepublic.com/...security/gender-gap-why-information-... • https://www.elance.com/q/women-in-technology Thanks to All

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