Women unaware of scopes in public procurement domain: Survey

Women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh are not fully aware of the scopes for them in the public procurement domain, according to a survey by BUILD.

It was conducted in January and February for getting gender specific information on public procurement.

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum made a presentation in this regard during third virtual policy dialogue on "Gender-Responsive Public Procurement in Bangladesh: Interview Findings”.

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), in association with the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC)’s SheTrades Initiative organised the event.

Ferdaus Ara pointed out barriers that are faced by woman entrepreneurs (WE) in public procurement such as lack of technological skills, lack of facilitation through policy, lack of sensitisation, procedural complexity, knowledge gap on bidding process, and financial incapability.

She said women may be encouraged to apply in limited tenders, quotation and cash purchase, in that respect Procuring Entity (PE) can prioritise women as tenderers.

Masud Akhter Khan, Director (Joint Secretary), CPTU, informed that as the main authority of dealing with the public procurement issue in Bangladesh, CPTU has been working very closely with World Bank and ITC to increase the capacity of WoB (Women owned Business).

He stressed to take initiative to define the definition of ‘women owned businesses’.

He said that procurement is a complex and comprehensive issue. Prior to engaging in that system, WoB need to upgrade themselves with proper technical knowledge. He welcomed WEs to come to CPTU so that CPTU can train them to be more competitive in the overall public procurement system.

Ferdausi Sultana, former consultant of ADB, requested to focus on employment generation through public procurement issues. She also added that digitalisation of the trade licenses will ensure more women participation in the system.

Abdur Rahim Khan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, and Iqbal Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Children and Women Affairs, were also present and spoke at the event among others.

Source: United News of Bangladesh