Making Market Work for Women (MMWW), the four years project funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and implemented by ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) is going to complete four years in 2019. AAB along with its four local partners started the project in November 2015 with the aim of strengthening food security in selected areas by promoting women agro-entrepreneurship through improving women’s access to nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and market transformation. Current context and demographic opportunity, ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) has prioritised social, economic and political empowerment of women through its programmatic areas.
The project intends to transform the traditional market place into gender sensitive market which has created opportunities to women entrepreneurs for getting access to local and regional markets. It is observed that many entrepreneurs are now acting as retailer and wholesaler at local market place. The collection points established in the project period have also created opportunities to many women entrepreneurs to meet the buyers face to face and sell locally produced agriculture and non-agricultural produces at fair price. The women entrepreneurs have already formed associations including union and Upazila level business associations with the aim to institutionalize the collective initiatives of the entrepreneurs. Union associations are contributing to develop linkage with various regional and national level buyers and to protect the interest of the small entrepreneurs including fair price of their produces. To perform that task women entrepreneurs are capacitated on various soft skills like organization development, networking, lobby, advocacy and negotiation.
Over the last 04 year, the project worked on building capacity of women entrepreneurs on market literacy, business planning, financial management, promotion of climate resilient organic products, lobbying with private and public sectors including micro-finance institutions, removing market barriers for women, raising awareness on sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) and nutrition. The project created awareness on SRHR and nutrition among women entrepreneurs and their families through courtyard sessions, cooking demonstration and homestead gardening since the project inceptions. Community clinics at the project areas are now offering flexible visiting time for adolescent girls and boys to get SRHR and nutrition services in their convenient time. Moreover, women entrepreneurs were trained on commercial vegetable cultivation, post harvesting management and market promotion technique to boost up their production and increase profit margin. They were mobilized to get access to various financial products of MFIs and scheduled banks to expand their ongoing businesses. Women entrepreneurs now participate in the governance structure of local market committees and provide efforts to protect their own interests.
The thematic areas of this Media Fellowship are:
Simultaneously, in order to influence policy decisions and strengthen media advocacy on promoting women entrepreneurship, AAB is inviting for applications from passionate journalists for the ‘ActionAid Media Fellowship 2019: Agro-based Rural Women Entrepreneurs’ to initiate and support investigative journalism on the thematic areas of ActionAid for Impact of MMWW project. Five winning applications from the journalists will be selected for this fellowship.
The objectives of this fellowship are
AAB intends to explore methodology from fellow in view of the project’s strategy, working area and budget.
*(Please keep in mind that topics will be sharpened later through discussion between the fellows and the thematic experts).
Each fellow will be working on one of the above mentioned topics and will have to develop at least 2 reports for publishing in their respective media (English and Bangla) focusing on the grassroot realities which will be used for advocacy with different stakeholders. The elaborated version of the report must be submitted to ActionAid so that it will be publish as a collective from the awarded fellows later. A detailed textual version is need to be submitted for the reports published in electronic media. There are researches going on the thematic areas, which the fellows will be needing to take consideration while working on the reports. The reports prepared by the journalists should supplement the researches. After selecting the winning applications, the details of the research topics and other relevant information will be shared with the fellows.
25 October 2019
Deputy Manager- Market Development, MMWW
House SE (C) 5/B, Road 136, Gulshan 1, Dhaka 1212
*Women journalists are encouraged to apply