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Staff Reporter
Rtnn: The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) expressed concerns over increasing harassment by VAT-tax collectors and urged for not to disturb people during Ramadan.

"Ramadan is coming and the people involved in VAT-tax are starting to harass from house to house. It doesn't bother them whether they are making business or not. At the end of the day, women are the ones who suffer the most from their pressure," said Monowara Hakim Ali, the former first vice president of the trade body, during the 'Supportive Ecosystem for Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals' seminar organised by FBCCI held today (9 March).

"Eid is coming soon. Let's not disturb our women entrepreneurs during this time with VAT and taxes-related matters," she added.

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Simin Hossain (Rimi), attended the seminar as the chief guest, where FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam also spoke.

Presenting a keynote paper at the seminar, Gender Specialist Shahmina Mannan highlighted Bangladesh's rankings in various global gender gap indicators. 

According to the recently released Global Gender Gap Report 2023 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Bangladesh ranks seventh among 146 countries in terms of women's participation in politics," she said.

However, she pointed out that the country's positions in education, health, and economic participation were comparatively lower, and urged for for improvement in these areas.

Nazma Mobarek, secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, echoed these sentiments, stressing the importance of comprehensive development for women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level. 

She also referenced Bangladesh's rankings in the Global Gender Gap Report and said, "We cannot call it women's empowerment by political empowerment alone."

The seminar concluded with a call for continued support and development initiatives to empower women entrepreneurs and professionals across Bangladesh.