Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment

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Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment | United Nations Population Fund | Bangladesh

Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment

Women constitute the majority of the poor and experience greater deprivation and vulnerability to poverty and socioeconomic adversity due to their low status in society.  Violence against women in the form of rape, assault (domestic as well as workplace violence), trafficking, or acid throwing is prevalent throughout the country; with an estimate that nearly 2 out of 3 women in Bangladesh has experienced SGBV in their lives.
Although several legal and protective policy measures have been adopted to safeguard women's rights, effectively outlawing gender-based violence and discrimination—implementation through enforcement remains difficult, greatly impeding the advancement of women's rights in the society.
The gender component of UNFPA, Bangladesh’s 8th Country Programme will form an integral part of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) pillar on gender quality and women’s advancement—reducing social and institutional vulnerabilities for women including the marginalized and disadvantaged.
8CP Outputs:
1:Increase awareness, knowledge, and positive attitudes toward reducing the vulnerability of women to incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and early marriage
2:By 2016, increase availability of and access to shelters, medical, psychological and legal support and vocational training for survivors of gender-based violence in selected districts.
Addressing Violations of Women’s and Girls’ Basic Rights:
   •  Domestic Violence and
   •  Child Marriage
Protection– Institutional Capacity Development:
   •      Health Sector response to SGBV
   •  Capacity building of focal ministry and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to deliver harmonised and comprehensive services to victims of SGBV
       ♦  Increase coverage, improve quality, and enhance sustainability of services (shelter support, counselling, livelihood training for rehabilitation, reference to medical / legal support, etc.)
       ♦  Strengthen system to allow maximum coordination and cooperation amongst all relevant survivor/victim empowerment role players in different sectors
   •  Capacity building of law enforcement agencies (judiciary and police) to protect women from violence, ensure redress and reparations and promote human rights
   •  Strengthen health sector response to SGBV (incl. improving tracking and reporting systems within the health services on VAW)
Prevention– Social Mobilisation:
   •  National campaign on GBV – domestic violence (esp. related to dowry) and child marriage
   •  Community based mobilisation programmes in partnership with NGOs / CBSs / CSOs
   •  Engaging men & boys to emerge as advocates in the prevention of GBV
Economic Empowerment– Capacity Building, Networking and Partnership:
   •  Link protection services with income generating and livelihood development
   •  Support and demonstrate options for social and economic rehabilitation (esp. to child marriage)
   •  Ensure RMG sector is violence-free, women-friendly, and empowering
Policy and Advocacy:
   •  National Women’s Advancement Policy 2011
   •  Domestic Violence Law 2010
   •  Court Directives on Sexual Harassment (“Eve’s teasing”) and Fatwa.
   •  Ensure Health Sector response to GBV that promotes gender equity as well as protection/prevention and economic empowerment
Gender Equality Component: 2012-2016

The gender component is an integral part of the UNDAF pillar on gender equality and women’s advancement, by reducing the social and institutional vulnerabilities of women, including marginalized and disadvantaged women. In order to provide more efficient and effective programme assistance around a UNFPA mandated development priority, the UNFPA Bangladesh Country Office, under its 8th Country Programme (2012-2016), has developed concrete products to better deliver on a set of development results. In the area of gender, a ‘product’ has been developed on Gender Based Violence (GBV), which aims to address multiple violations of women’s and girls’ basic rights, with special focus on domestic violence and child marriage from three inter-related dimensions – Prevention, Protection, and Economic Empowerment.

Through the following projects, UNFPA is providing efficient and effective assistance to the GO- NGO counterparts and other stakeholders in achieving the national priority and UNFPA mandated development priority:


Project Glimpse: Gender Component

Project: Advancement and Promoting Women’s Rights



Major Project Focus

·         Strengthening capacity of Department of Women’s Affairs officials on Sexual and Gender Based Violence ( SGBV)  and Child marriage issue

·         Capacity enhancement of Women Support Centers

·         Local Level Planning ( LLP) to strengthen bottom up planning approach

·          Social mobilization to challenge stereotype mindset and harmful practices

·         Facilitate multi-sectoral coordination and partnership in order to integrate the support and services  for  survivors of SGBV and child marriage

·         Engage men and boys to change their behavior towards women and girls



Project Objectives:

By 2016 Social and institutional vulnerabilities of women, including the marginalized and disadvantaged will be  reduced

By 2016, availability of and access to shelters; medical, psychological and legal support; and vocational training for survivors of gender-based violence in selected districts will be increased


Project Period:July 2013- Dec 2016

Implementing Partner:Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Department of Women Affairs (DWA) 

Geographical Coverage:Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, Jamalpur, Pathuakhali, Dhaka



Project: Protection and Enforcement of Women Rights

Project Objectives:

By 2016 Social and institutional vulnerabilities of women, including the marginalized and disadvantaged will be  reduced

Project Period:

March 2013-December 2016

 Implementing Partner: Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA)

Geographical Coverage:All  upazilla of Sylhet, Pathuakhali, Jamalpur, Cox’s Bazar and 10 Metropolitan thana of Dhaka

Major Project Focus

·         Establish women-friendly police stations with “women’s help desks” in the selected 15 thanas/Police Stations

·         Develop a Standard Operating Procedure ( SOP) for police personnel to address gender sensitive management of survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence ( SGBV) and child marriage

·         Capacity building of MoHA/Police personnel to enhance practical skills, knowledge on  gender equality and related issues

·         Coordination with the Government, civil society, and NGOs to provide a wide range of support to survivors

·         Develop outreach programs for the police sector in order to create stronger ties with the community and establish themselves as a refuge for survivors of SGBV and child marriage


Major Project Focus

·         Empower the most marginalized women through training on entrepreneurship and Gender & Sexual and Reproductive Health &Rights ( SRHR)

·         Facilitate an enabling environment for women’s access to business market

·        Develop Community Role-model on women entrepreneurship

·        Establish a hotline that will answer women’s questions about business and SRHR

·        Policy advocacy with bank officials and related policy makers.

Project: Economic Opportunity, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights-A pathway to Empowering girls and Women in Bangladesh

 Project Objective:By 2016 participation of marginalized and disadvantaged women in selected districts and urban slums in wage employment and any other income-generating activities will be increased

 Project Period: April 2013- December 2016

Implementing Partners: Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

Districts: Sylhet, Moulavibazar, Sunamgonj

Participants:330 women potential entrepreneurs will be involved directly




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