On Wednesday a national conference on “Anti-Corruption Reform Efforts for Women Entrepreneurs” opened in Dhaka. U.S. Ambassador James F. Moriarty and Minister for Commerce Lt. Col (ret'd) Muhammad Faruk Khan inaugurated the conference together.
The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), funded this conference as part of its good governance initiative called “PROGATI” – Promoting Governance, Accountability Transparency and Integrity Program. The conference took place at the conclusion of an eight month program of training and advocacy activities implemented by the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) and supported by USAID.
Under this initiative, PROGATI brought together 300 women entrepreneurs in Chittagong, Sylhet and Khulna to promote anti-corruption activities. The entrepreneurs identified how they experience corruption in their professional lives. The participants cited taxation, access to credit, and business development services as the key areas where corruption was most pronounced. The participants analyzed how existing laws and policies protect women entrepreneurs and where new laws and policies are necessary. The entrepreneurs also held advocacy events in their home districts to promote necessary policy change.
The U.S. Government, through USAID, is working to improve the lives of the people of Bangladesh, especially the very poor.