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Gender Equality in The Marine Sector in Bangladesh
09 March 2019
A great way to celebrate international women’s day it was this year for our CINOP experts and CPA partners. After our return from the gender mission at Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in Bangladesh, we left positive spirited and enthusiastic about the dedication of CPA to implement a brand new gender policy covering not only their training center CPATI, as was first envisaged, but also CPA wide.
It’s not only a stigma from males, it’s also a female stigma. They think they cannot do it or they are not prepared to work as hard as men. It’s about equality, we have to fight the stigma from both male and female perspective. If you want equality, then apply for the job and be prepared to do the work.
In recent years the amount of women in the organization has been growing steadily, and they have been able to make impressive progress in terms of gender equality, such as their own bathroom facilities, health care benefits, and very soon a child care center for CPA employees. This is especially admiring since the Marine sector worldwide is a male dominated sector with high expectations, pressure, and often hints of stigmatization. Moreover, Bangladesh upholds traditional standards in terms of motherhood and office regulations, and therefore makes juggling career and family life extra challenging.
Together with male and female employees, teachers, and connected training institutes, we discussed their current ambitions and ways to adhere to the new national gender policy that is being implemented by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Gaps were identified and policy objectives and an action plan are being drafted in cooperation with dedicated CPA representatives.
I have to work extra hard to be respected. First nobody accepted me and refused to give me ‘male work’, I proved myself to be equally qualified and now they realize I can do everything. They are more open now to my ideas and suggestions
Within this Gender Policy the focus will be on ensuring gender friendly teaching materials, access to equal facilities and service provision, equal labour requirements, connections with existing international bodies, and confidential counsellors for both male and female. CPA is willing to set the example and set course towards a future in which continuous development of workforce diversity, equal opportunities and rights for both men and women are safeguarded and stimulated.
Are you also interested in finding out what CINOP can do to support your organization in implementing gender friendly education?