Bangladesh holiday market run solely by women

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Dhaka city corporation and a women's forum launch it to give small entrepreneurs space in the capital's Mohakhali

Dhaka North City Corporation yesterday launched a holiday market at Mohakhali only for small women entrepreneurs to sell their products.

As per an initiative taken by “For The Women By The Women Forum” and supported by the city corporation, 50 women are permitted to set up makeshift shops under the shade of beach umbrellas at newly- constructed Mohakhali wholesale kitchen market and sell items on weekends and holidays.

However days before the beginning of Ramadan, DNCC gave permission for the market's operation every day until Eid-ul-Fitr, said Shamsun Nahar, vice president of the women's forum. The market will remain open from 10:00am to 7:00pm.

The shop owners will not have to give any fees to the DNCC, she said, adding that the objective of the holiday market was to create opportunities for small women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level of the forum will be able to sell their goods at the market.

Aleya Sarwar Daisy, a woman councillor, will coordinate the whole thing.

Shamsun Nahar said the initiative had been taken around three years back. The forum at first tried to implement the idea with the help of Bangladesh Bank. But later it requested the DNCC mayor for help.

DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq said rehabilitating women was a mandate of the city corporation. The authorities are taking steps to introduce such holiday markets in every ward of the DNCC area.

The mayor also promised to open a separate holiday market where specially-abled people will be able to sell products.

While addressing the programme as the chief guest, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal expressed the hope that the small entrepreneurs would gradually expand their businesses to operate them on a large scale.

He assured them of security so that they could run their shops smoothly.

A member of the women's forum, Popy Barua requested the mayor to allot a permanent place for the market.

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