The web has made information from all parts of the world, from all kinds of people, available to anyone who has access to an internet connection. Importantly also, through social media, women from all walks of life are getting together, creating the opportunity for communities to form and experiences and ideas to be shared. The benefit such interactions bring to society and women in particular is huge. As internet penetration is growing rapidly in Bangladesh, there are some fantastic initiatives in place promoting this digital ecosystem. We have, however, only just scratched the surface of how women can harness these technologies to heighten their influence and impact on society.
This presentation, a collaboration between Webable and Maya, features perspectives from 10 women who all work in technology and/or in development sector on how internet is changing and shaping lives of Bangladeshi Women. Read on you will find it intriguing, inspiring and predictive about how internet is going to change lives of women in coming days.
The internet has brought about a paradigm shift in the lives of women in Bangladesh - We not only have access to information but also have the option of working from any place, anytime and anywhere… This combination of knowledge plus power morphs our empowerment and takes us places no man has seen women before.~Sonia Bashir Kabir, Country Managing Director, Dell Bangladesh
Technological revolution that is going on silently throughout the country can be used to the advantage of women. Given the higher rate of mobile phone penetration solution can be offered addressing problems of women in remote areas once which was impossible to think.
Women in Bangladesh are poised on the cusp of a revolution! With our superb mobile phone penetration, we have the unique opportunity to develop innovative, digital solutions to our everyday problems. Counseling services for women are necessary in all parts of the country, especially those areas that are remote and far from other health service providers. Maya is a great example of a creative space where women can discuss issues around health, sexuality, gender norms, etc and be confident that they will get top quality advice.~Shazia Omar, Head of Advocacy, Shiree, Author, Like a Diamond in the Sky
Internet is an opportunity for women to take chances and live a life they want. The examples of women who have broken the cage is not rare rather increasing every passing day.
I personally know a woman who has been able to come out of her oppressive era at her husband’s house where she used to be treated inhumanely. It was Facebook where she found out her way to end the plight and start a bright life. I believe, internet and technology, are not only ending darkness, they also enlightening everybody who are onboard the ride for positive change. More and more invention and creative works are taking place in the technology world and women are unfortunately lagging behind. But sometimes women do amazing things in technology defeating the patriarchal hindrances. I hope more women cross the limit by inventing, winning, discovering, leading and breaking. May the enormous power of womanhood make remarkable progress in technology and reshape the world.” Taslima Miji, CEO,Techmania
The rate of internet penetration of Bangladeshi women is still very low. But the matter of hope is that it's growing rapidly.
The power of the web has been an incredible force in innovation, knowledge sharing and progress worldwide. With a small but growing population of Bangladeshi women gaining access to the internet, I'm confident that the growth and access to this technology will elevate their status for career growth, education, politics and overall human rights by leaps and bounds. The women of Bangladesh will be able to leverage the information, support and tools from the web to challenge the status quo.~ Sumaya Kazi,CEO & founder,Sumazi
This is an age of opportunity. With right mindset and education anyone can make impossible happen. What Bangladeshi women need is a growth mindset to take the opportunity and bring changes not only to their families but also to their society as well.
With ICTs and media becoming more globally available, now more than ever an educated woman, not only educates a family, but can also bring positive changes to a community, a region, or even a country – such is the power of an educated woman in today’s world empowered with Internet access. Bangladeshi women need to arm themselves with relevant knowledge so that they can keep up with their male counterparts. Internet plays a crucial role in such endeavor. I believe the socially responsible organizations, NGOs and above all the government need to ensure that every woman in Bangladesh has access to Internet in the near future.~Tina Jabeen,Private Equity Director and member of Agami
Women have been playing a significant role in our economy which tells how resilient they are. Given with the opportunity this rate of contribution is going to be huge in coming days.
Representing 36% of the country's workforce, women have been key drivers of Bangladesh's development in sectors such as agriculture and social services, bringing the poverty rate down 50% since 1990 and the child mortality rate down 40% in 10 years. However, there are currently twice as many men online in Bangladesh than women. Bridging this gap over the next few years represents a significant opportunity to both equip Bangladeshi women with diversified skill sets and catalyze Bangladesh's social and economic development.~ Jana Levene, Head of Emerging Markets, APAC Google
In Families women play a critical role in making decision from purchasing a water jar to life style. Now with internet their scale of influence is going beyond previously settled standard.
Bangladeshi women are critical decision-makers in today's family unit - spanning from family to health to financial matters. Through greater participation in the labor force, women are also claiming a growing stake in the country's economic value creation process. The internet - as a means of access to timely information, education, free markets and commerce - represents an unparalleled opportunity for the empowerment of Bangladeshi women.~Munazah Chowdhury, Head of Global Sales Technology, Google
No doubt internet has immense power to change lives and internet penetration of Bangladeshi women is impressive to some extent. But it is still confined within a community of privileged. We need to take internet to masses to see real change happen.
There is no better way than using Information Technology to mitigate aspects of this global disease that we call poverty, towards a more self dependent Bangladesh. Sadly the use of Information Technology is available to a certain echelon of society more specifically the upper and middle class but it is this untapped population, particularly women, who can use such technology and greatly contribute to the economic development in our country.~Sadequa Hassan Sejuti, Managing Director, Future Solution for Business (FSB) Ltd.
Technology is the future. Bangladeshi women and other relevant stakeholders need to understand this and act accordingly to facilitate women in this sector.
“As long as women have access to a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, they can express themselves with less of a focus on background, family, or physical looks. And, excitingly, because the internet is still relatively young in Bangladesh, women have the opportunity to help in its development. Over the next 1-2 years, technological literacy will be an increasingly important element. If enough women can learn to code and/or navigate the online space, Bangladesh will have a strong foundation for future success.” Alyssa Ransbury, Head of Operations, G&R Technologies
Internet is great tool of empowerment for women in a sense that a woman can express herself without fear of being judged.
“It is important that women in Bangladesh can learn and share without fear of being judged. The internet is so important for the empowerment of women because it removes barriers. I believe that providing access and educating the youth on utilising the web are key to the development of Bangladesh.” Bibi Russell, Founder, Bibi Productions
P.S.: This report is bought to you under a collaboration between Webable and Maya. Adjusted and reprinted with permission.