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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has clearly outlined her commitment to eliminating this scourge of violence against the women of Bangladesh. Nothing hurts her more, she has said, than violence against women. Her government has enacted several strong policies and action plans to promote gender equality and address violence against women, including the Domestic Violence Protection and Preservation Act 2010, National Women Development Policy 2011, Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 and the Child Marriage Prevention Act 2017, which clearly demonstrate the will to make changes.
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Shorifa Jahan (not her real name) is a Community Leader under UN Women’s Combatting Gender-Based Violence (CGBV) Project in Bangladesh funded by the Government of Canada. The project focuses on primary prevention, stopping violence before it occurs, so that all women and girls live a life free of violence at home, at work and in public spaces
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In the wake of crisis, economic response and recovery plans often forget the needs of women and girls, hindering sustained peace and development. In Bangladesh, UN Women supports the Generation Equality Compact on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) and is working with local partners to put recovery back on track by increasing economic security for crisis-affected women through grants and job training.
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Bangladesh has already demonstrated great success in disaster risk reduction. We have the National Development Framework that has powerful instructions for climate change and disaster risk reduction. We have our own local adaptation and mitigation strategy. But there is gap in translating those plans into concrete actions. So in order to advance toward the objectives of the 66th CSW, we need to be more action-oriented.
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The two agencies signed an inter-agency agreement for the period 2022-2026 to promote gender-responsive inclusive governance, social protection and disaster risk reduction, women’s economic empowerment and access to justice as well as to fight discrimination against women at all levels in Bangladesh.
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UN Women and ILO have long been working with the Government to foster decent work, equal pay and access to resources for women. Both agencies excel in their respective areas of work: UN Women has cultivated strong civil society partnerships and ILO has close working relationship with employers’ and workers’ organizations. Combining these comparative advantages, UN Women and ILO are ideally positioned to promote voice, agency and choice for women and girls in Bangladesh.
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Remarks by Gitanjali Singh, Head of Office, a.i, UN Women Bangladesh. "Bangladesh has been a champion and front runner on disaster risk reduction and climate change action with UN Women being an integral part of it. Acknowledging these efforts and to advance these gains further with a focus on the priorities of marginalized women and girls, climate resilient infrastructure and increased gender responsive financing..."
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This message was the focus of an event held in Dhaka to mark International Women’s Day 2022 by the UN Development Programme, UN Women and the UN Capital Development Fund, along with top executives from several financial institutions. “In most cases, women entrepreneurs are not aware of the financial services available, how to access them and how to leverage them for sustaining their businesses,” said Diya Nanda, deputy country representative for UN Women.
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Farah Kabir is the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh. Over close to three decades of vast experience in the field of development and research has made her renowned human rights figure and a CSO leader at home and abroad with an uncompromising voice against human-rights violation. She is a member of Advisory committee of Bangladesh’s NDA to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a member of such Child Rights Committee National Human Rights Commission, Board member of UCEP. She is a member of the Global Board of the Global Network of Disaster Risk Reduction (GNDR), Board Member of Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) since 2019. steering committee member of ACIAR-Rupantar program of Australian Government, advisory committee member of Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE).
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Young women are agents of change in promoting peace and social cohesion, said speakers at the National Colloquium on Learnings from the Women Peace Café initiative in Bangladesh. The event, organized by UN Women and the Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) of Brac University
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Keya Khan is Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of Bangladesh. She was interviewed in her office in Dhaka by Shararat Islam of UN Women. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. How can we ensure gender equality and empowerment of women in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies, and programmes?
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Tarikul Islam is a Commanding Officer and Superintendent of Police at Bangladesh Police’s Armed Police Battalion in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Since 2019, UN Women has supported the Bangladesh Police to strengthen gender-responsive policing in Cox’s Bazar and improve the availability, accessibility and quality of services in alignment with the United Nations "essential services package” for women and girls subject to violence.
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Cultural practices like child marriage and polygamy were highlighted as threats to the safety of women and girls in Rohingya refugee camps as the refugees and humanitarian aid workers participated in the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.
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Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh is home to over 880,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence and persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Most Rohingya women and girls in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps are either survivors of, or witnesses to, gender-based violence. “In the Rohingya camp, community members have come from another country after experiencing tragedy and atrocities, so our behaviour towards them must be humanistic and tolerant,” says Atiqur Rahman, Commanding Officer of Bangladesh Armed Police Battalion 14, one of two battalions that serves Cox’s Bazar refugee camp.
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[Press release] SALAM was launched by the Governance of Labour Migration in South and South-East Asia (GOALS), a regional programme jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UN Women, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The hub seeks to be a one-stop platform serving policy makers, civil society actors, social partners and other stakeholders with knowledge, information, networks, and policy solutions leading to positive changes in labour migration policies and practices.
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“Since I was a child, I loved the idea of driving, but I didn’t dare to dream about it,” says Romela Islam*. “I got married after I finished high school. My husband was a cruel man and tortured me. When I was pregnant, he punched me so hard I ended up losing my baby. On most nights, I cried myself to sleep. I wanted to end my life.”Romela Islam escaped her abusive marriage when her brother took her to Tarango (meaning, waves), a women’s shelter in Bangladesh in December 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping the country and violence against women and girls was on the rise.
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UN Women is supporting Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner officials, Camp-in-Charges, police and legal aid providers through training on gender-responsive humanitarian action, women's empowerment, and violence against women. UN Women also has six “gender field officers” who cover 13 camps and support the Camp-in-Charges. Many cases of adolescent girl molestation and eve-teasing have come to my attention. These are delicate cases that are difficult to handle, but I do my best to ensure that justice is served. Through the Department of Social Services and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, the Bangladesh Government is also assisting survivors of gender-based violence.
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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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I was forcefully married off at the age of 16 to a man who only knew violence. The miserable household held my parent-in-laws, brother and sister-in-law, and my unemployed husband. Within three months of my marriage, I realized that my husband had no affinity to get himself a job, and that is when the abuse began. It was always for dowry, to fund his failed ventures one after the other while the rest of the household fell deeper into the grasp of poverty.
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“If you love God, how can you abuse your wife, your children? Sister Doreen, as she is simply known, has supported thousands of women and children survivors of domestic violence, raised funds to build two safe homes, and is at the forefront of the nation’s SAFENET1 approach of improving support services for survivors. As a young village girl growing up in the Makira-Ulawa Province of Solomon Islands she knew something was “not right”.