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Women on the agenda during Royal visit to Bangladesh

The visit of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Danish Development Cooperation Minister Ulla Tornaes to Bangladesh had a strong focus on women’s economic empowerment. The visit took place from 4th to 6th April 2017.

From rural Barisal to a Ready-Made Garment factory in Gazipur, The Crown Princess and the Minister witnessed first-hand how Danish development efforts contribute to women’s economic empowerment.

Accompanied by Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther, the high level delegation visited a rural infrastructure project in Barisal on day one.  In partnership with LGED Denmark employs underprivileged local women in building climate resilient roads.
 

Later they visited a Danish supported Farmer Field School where female farmers learn new techniques and efficient management of agriculture and livestock which helps them earn a higher income. The Crown Princess and the Minister talked with the women about the challenges in their daily-life, family situations and future aspirations.
 
“Women are critical drivers of development and the women I have just met once again confirmed this. Despite living under the constant threat of climate change and other hardships, these strong women continue to strive for a better future for themselves and their families. ” - said the HRH Crown Princess Mary. The Crown Princess is patron of UNFPA (UN Fund for Population Affairs) and a strong advocate for empowerment of women and girls.

While in Barisal, the Danish Minister announced that Denmark will commit an additional 4.4 mil. USD to support climate resilience projects in Barisal. ‘I am proud that Denmark will support local communities of Bangladesh to overcome adverse effects of climate change which threatens their livelihood’ – said Ulla Tornaes.
 
On the second day of the tour, the Minister and the Crown Princess visited an RMG factory called Auko-Tex in Gazipur. Close to 60 % of workers in the RMG-sector in Bangladesh are women. Along with visiting the production facilities, the delegation also visited Auko-Tex’s day care facilities where working mothers can bring their children and a medical centre which provides special care for women.

“Employment in the RMG-sector is a great opportunity for Bangladeshi women to earn a living. As bread winners working women are made self-reliant and less dependent on others.  They not only improve their own lives but also invest more in the family when they are earning. We must therefore ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all women’’ – said Danish Minister Ulla Tornaes.