How the pandemic has affected women’s work in BIMSTEC region

22nd Feb, 2021

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Garment workers who have not been paid for months gather to demonstrate in front of their factory at Malibagh in the capital in April 2020. Photo: Sk Enamul Haq

The ongoing pandemic has adversely affected women around the world in a number of ways, including through employment and income loss. The countries within the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have also suffered from its effects. These countries had made some improvements in terms of women's empowerment over the past years. Women's participation in the labour market, educational qualification, and participation in decision-making jobs have increased in these countries. However, the gender gap is still wide. The recently published Human Development Report 2020 of the United Nations Development Programme shows that in terms of the Gender Inequality Index, Bangladesh ranked 133rd, Bhutan 99th, India 123rd, Myanmar 118th, Nepal 110th, Sri Lanka 90th, and Thailand ranked 80th among the 189 countries in 2019.

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