Women Empowerment


People living in rural peripheries, and especially women, shoulder the burden of the world's poverty. They have been deprived for too long from participating in the opportunities and benefits of economic growth and globalization.


Women and girls constitute Three-fifth of the worlds poor. Their poverty level is worse than that of men as clear gender disparities in education, employment opportunities and decision-making power exist.


Reducing urban-rural disparities and gender inequalities is a crucial element for any poverty reduction strategy. Mobilizing the potential productivity of rural people and particularly of women is indispensable to achieve the resilient economic growth that will pull people above the poverty line.


The International Jute Study Group (IJSG) is working for empowering women and upgrading their living standard through various projects and activities especially in the subcontinent. Recently, the IJSG organize a workshop on "Gender Sensitization in Jute Sector - Bangladesh" in its secretariat.



Workshop on Gender Sensitization in Jute Sector – Bangladesh


The International Jute Study Group (IJSG) organised an “Interactive Workshop: Gender Sensitization in Jute Sector – Bangladesh” in its Conference Room at 145, Monipuripara, Tejgaon (near Farmgate), Dhaka-1215 on Thursday, February 24, 2011.


Mr. Md. Ashraful Moqbul, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles and Jute, Government of Bangladesh inaugurated the day-long Workshop as the Chief Guest. Mr. Bhupendra Singh, the IJSG Secretary General was the Chairperson of the workshop.


Mr. Tariq-ul-Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Women & Children Affairs, Govt. of Bangladesh, Bibi Russel, Founder - Bibi Productions, UNESCO Special Envoy & Artist for Peace and UNAIDS Ambassador were present as Guests of Honour and addressed the inaugural Session.          



Ashraful Moqbul, Secretary,  ministry of Textiles and Jute, Govt. of Bangladesh

speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the workshop


The main objective of the Workshop was to assemble women engaged in different capacities in the whole supply chain of jute sector from cultivation, post harvest activities, industrial processing, product manufacturing in organised / Small & Medium Enterprises (SME)/ handicraft sector, Research & Development up to marketing / trading, etc. to explore the contribution of women in the jute sector, challenges they face and weakness in the policy areas, and to raise awareness among the stakeholders about the contribution of all concerned in the development of the jute sector irrespective of gender. Many recommendations were obtained from deliberations and discussions/interactions among the participant. IJSG took note of the important observation/suggestion/recommendation and would develop action plan, programme and future strategies towards achieving one most important objective of IJSG – Woman Empowerment with the support of respective government.



Participants of the workshop


A large number of women participated in the workshop along with representatives from the Govt./policy level, industry, entrepreneurs, R&D Organisations, handicrafts and jute diversified sector etc.


“A Frame Work Document for Preparing Gender Action Plan (GAP) of Jute Sector “ (PDF Format)


Small-Scale Entrepreneurship Development in Diversified  Jute Products


Small Scale Entrepreneurship Development in Diversified Jute Products (CFC / IJSG / 18) has been a flag ship project sponsored by the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) and funded by the CommonbFund for Commodities (CFC).

A large number of very low income groups, especially rural poor and women in Bangladesh and India were benefited through this project. It has also increaseed demand for jute fibre / JDPs and generate additional employment and income for the rural and related urban areas.

A large number of new small entrepreneurs (especially women) have been developed under the project (1150 in India and 1420 in Bangladesh). The income of the beneficiaries who had very little /no income before joining the project has increased quite a lot. The entrepreneurs have started production and sale of JDPs and thus benefited.




3 JESCs, 3 RMBs, 3 Data Banks, 3 Design Banks, 3 Display Galleries, a project website have been set up in each India and Bangladesh apart from many Awareness, Skill development / Training / Design workshops, Buyers-Sellers Meets/ Exhibitions organized under the project.

Involvement of large no. of women entrepreneurs in production of JDPs contributed in creating employment opportuni-ties, income generation, poverty alleviation, and rural women empower-ment and thereby improvement of their socio-economic conditions.


Success Stories of Women Empowerment through “Small Scale Entrepreneurship Development in Diversified Jute Products”


Moni in her enterprise coordinating the employees


Ms Asma Mahabuba (Moni) was born in 1978 in the district of Jhinaidaha, Bnagladesh She was thinking to have a good job after graduation but she got married immediately. After marriage she was thinking for doing something to generate income for her family. Her laws also supported her idea. Initially she started production of various types of handicrafts with two flats sewing machines, 1 over lock machine and 5 labors. In 2007 Small Scale Project organized a diversified jute goods exhibition and fair at Mymensing. She participated at the fair and came in contact with the “Small Scale Project”. The officials of the projects were very pleased to see her activities and advised her to be involved in a better way. Forthwith she started following advises from them. In the meantime she got an order for supply of 10,000 pcs hand knitted jute bags to Japan through one of her friends. This encouraged her very much towards production of deco-jute goods. She organized a 10 day long training course for her workers through the financial and technical aid of “Small Scale Project”. She participated in the Dhaka International Trade Fair-2007 under the Umbrella of JDPC and Small Scale Project. In such fair her products could attract attention of several foreign buyers and she has already started export. At present she has 12 sewing machines and 20 workers. By now she has become an ideal of inspiration to the unemployed youths of her locality. She is an established successful entrepreneur of Small Scale Project.




Monowara Khanam in a fair with her products


Ms Monowara Khanam comes from Manikgonj district. She believes sincerely and courage will definitely bring success in life. Due to family insolvency she could not have her education after HSC. She started struggle of life for establishment with only one sewing machine. She was not happy with the performance of her husband. Her husband would not give any accounts of the money properly. Centering all these misunderstanding they could not live together in the family life. During this crisis period she joined in an NGO. In connection to her job she came to know more about “Small Scale Entrepreneurship Development” project of IJSG.  She participated in a training programme on “Production of Various Jute Diversified Products” organized by the project. She started a production unit of diversified jute products with four sewing machines and eight workers. In the beginning of her business her yearly earning was almost taka 90 thousand only. She started selling her products throughout the country and simultaneously she participated in all the fair and exhibitions of Small Scale Projects. At present in her business enterprise she has 11 sewing machines and 22 workers. Her yearly income is around two lac and sixty four thousand taka. She also developed herself as a skilled person and also serves as a trainer of JDPC. With her enterprising quality, sharp brain and relentless hard labor she has now established her as a very successful small entrepreneur. She invites all youth to come forward for production of jute diversified products.