Introduction

POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights) project is a multi-country project implementing in Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan with the long term objective to increase economic empowerment of women. This project also works with families to help reduce women’s burden of unpaid care work, so they can contribute towards income generating ventures. ActionAid Bangladesh has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and SKS foundation to make this project a success since 2016.

Four areas of this project include: 

  • Unpaid care work for women;
  • Climate resilient sustainable agriculture;
  • Market access for women;
  • Violence against women

Background

The prevailing gender norms and power relations in Bangladesh justify women’s heavy workload and limited control over productive resources must be challenged if the economic participation of women is to be improved. In 2016, ActionAid Bangladesh has done a research on “Time Use of Women and Men (Unpaid Care Work)”. It shows that women spend 6.3 hours and men spend 1.1 hours in household work daily. According to another research, women spend on average around 8 hours in unpaid care work which was more than men who spent approximately an hour and a half on it. The bottomline being that women in Bangladesh are spending almost five times more in unpaid care work than men. 

 

In Bangladesh other key contributors to the persistence of gender inequality are women’s limited knowledge and mobilisation around their rights, limited partocipation of women in decision making spaces, and violence against women. In addition, access to markets is a major barrier for rural women. They receive unfair treatment from buyers,  often lack knowledge regarding the current market situation, as well as finance and other productive resources. Many women consequently utilise ‘middle-men’ to market their products which reduces profits and maintains gender imbalance. Therefore, by recognising and addressing these issues and increasing household and community influence are crucial to women’s economic empowerment.

This project works with women to help empower them within their households and the community including a contribution to decision making. This is achieved by training them about their rights, and sustainable money generating activities such as climate resilient agriculture.

This project also works with families to help reduce women’s burden of unpaid care work, so that they can devote more time to income generating ventures.

The initiative was to promote opportunities for women’s empowerment and rights. ActionAid Bangladesh has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and SKS foundation to make this project a success since 2016.

Four areas of this project:

  1. Unpaid care work for women;
  2. Climate resilient sustainable agriculture;
  3. Market access for women;
  4. Violence against women

We have covered Gojaria, Konchipara, Uria, Udakhali, Fajlupur, Mogolhaat, Kulaghaat, Rajpur, Harati, Khuniagach village of Rangpur and Sylhet divisions so far.  

Explore

Publications

Market Transformation for Women

Women play a central role in agriculture. Rural women throughout Bangladesh make critical contributions to household production and consequently to household and national food security. The specific nature of their contribution vary, for instance women’s participation in economic activities differ considerably according to the type of activity and the place of residence. Traditionally women have played an important role in a wide range of income-generating activities. These rural production activities include post-harvesting, cow fattening and milking, goat farming, backyard poultry rearing, pisciculture, horticulture, food processing, cane and bamboo works, and handicrafts. Yet the reality has been that ‘markets’ are not women sensitive nor friendly. Women struggled to be in market spaces as a producer trying to sell their product, or as a buyer to make choices in person. ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) took up initiatives in different parts of the country with the intent of changing the market system and practices so as make the market system women-friendly. This called for long-term projects and investment. One such project entitled: Making Market Work for Women (MMWW), in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, aimed to support women Agri -entrepreneurs to evolve into a competitive and successful entrepreneur by participating in the market. MMWW project facilitated the creation of a women-friendly market environment; developing linkages with market actors and relevant stakeholders towards promoting and increasing access for women entrepreneurs in existing rural markets. The project also established linkages with online market platform for women entrepreneurs, so as to promote their engagement in e-commerce. In the present reality of the COVID-19 pandemic online marketing played a great role to sustain the enterprise of women entrepreneurs. They were able to trade their produce and flourish their business in 2020. AAB took an initiative to publish a Photobook to showcase the success stories of women entrepreneurs through the photobook ‘Market Transformation for Women’. It is a testimony of women’s contribution in transformation of society, and the significant contribution to their community, as well as national economy. I believe that Agri-entrepreneurship particularly by rural women is an important growing sector in the economy of Bangladesh. Therefore, it calls for recognition and investment to stimulate growth and further development.
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News

Sponsored children have done well in the SSC Examination 2021

Our sponsored children, 116 children participated in the SSC exams this year 2021, out of which 40 were boys and 76 were girls. Out of 116 children, 114 children passed the SSC exam and 2 children failed. We look forward to a successful future for all children.
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News

Book corners are not just about books it’s a gateway to knowledge

AAB establishes book corners in 06 child spaces in LRP 51, Chanpara and 04 child spaces in LRP-48, Bakalia for 2098 children which are slum areas, and children of that area rarely get an opportunity to access books besides their formal education books.
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News

Represents Bangladesh through Artworks

Three artworks of our Sponsor Children have been selected to represent Bangladesh in the BEYOND Spacesuit project executed by the Space for Art Foundation.
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News

Sponsored children have done well in the SSC Examination 2021

Our sponsored children, 116 children participated in the SSC exams this year 2021, out of which 40 were boys and 76 were girls. Out of 116 children, 114 children passed the SSC exam and 2 children failed. We look forward to a successful future for all children.
Read More

News

Book corners are not just about books it’s a gateway to knowledge

AAB establishes book corners in 06 child spaces in LRP 51, Chanpara and 04 child spaces in LRP-48, Bakalia for 2098 children which are slum areas, and children of that area rarely get an opportunity to access books besides their formal education books.
Read More

News

Represents Bangladesh through Artworks

Three artworks of our Sponsor Children have been selected to represent Bangladesh in the BEYOND Spacesuit project executed by the Space for Art Foundation.
Read More

News

Children are Happy to Receive Colorful Exercise Books and Face Masks

Besides the celebration of Child Rights Week 2021 ActionAid Bangladesh provided reusable masks among about 15,000 children as one of the tools to stay safe from coronavirus, and exercise books to encourage them to study with a fresh zeal.
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News

Children of Madarganj Enjoys the World Children's Day and Child Rights Week - 2021

With the financial support of ActionAid Bangladesh World Children Day and Child Rights Week-2021 was observed in 5 Children Spaces in Madarganj Upazila of Jamalpur district.
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Event

National Mourning Day 2020:

The nation observed the National Mourning Day on 15th of August 2020, Saturday with paying rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his 45th martyrdom anniversary. Like every year, 15 LRPs arranged different programs for the children to observe National Mourning Day 2020 by following all safety measures.
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Event

Event for child care

Event for child care
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Blog

6th International Water Conference 2021

ActionAid Bangladesh is going to organise the 6th International Water Conference under the theme of ‘Water, Climate and Justice in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic’’ from 27 to 29 January 2021. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to organise the conference through virtual platform this year.
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Blog

LIFE IN SHAMBLES

On my trip to Sunamganj in April, I met 32-year-old Nazma Khatun who spoke to me about her woes: “All of our cultivated paddies have gone under water. Our livelihood, children’s education, food, treatment, and shelter are under threat as we depend on the paddy. We took Tk30,000 as a loan from a Local NGO to cultivate. I don’t know how I will return the loan.”
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Blog

16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM COMING UP

Violence against women and girl is a severe human rights abuse that continues to take place on a daily base all over the word, also in Bangladesh. With interactive theatre performances in different parts of Dhaka, youth happenings, discussion fora, media training and a robust social media presence using #SafeCities, #SafeCitiesBecause and #16DaysofActivism, we call on ending violence against women during this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign.
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Blog

AN UNCERTAIN LIFE: ROHINGYA EXODUS TO BANGLADESH

The influx of refugees from Rohingya into Bangladesh is now over 370,000, with the figures rising daily. They are supported by the Bangladesh government, local and international NGOs, and host communities
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Blog

ROLE MODELS- BOTH ON AND OFF THE PITCH

Brimming with happiness, young Sumona declared, “I play to win”, when she was asked about her heroic performance which led her team, Chanpara Croatia Football Team to victory over their opponents for the day, Chanpara France Football Team.
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Publications

Market Transformation for Women

Women play a central role in agriculture. Rural women throughout Bangladesh make critical contributions to household production and consequently to household and national food security. The specific nature of their contribution vary, for instance women’s participation in economic activities differ considerably according to the type of activity and the place of residence. Traditionally women have played an important role in a wide range of income-generating activities. These rural production activities include post-harvesting, cow fattening and milking, goat farming, backyard poultry rearing, pisciculture, horticulture, food processing, cane and bamboo works, and handicrafts. Yet the reality has been that ‘markets’ are not women sensitive nor friendly. Women struggled to be in market spaces as a producer trying to sell their product, or as a buyer to make choices in person. ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) took up initiatives in different parts of the country with the intent of changing the market system and practices so as make the market system women-friendly. This called for long-term projects and investment. One such project entitled: Making Market Work for Women (MMWW), in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, aimed to support women Agri -entrepreneurs to evolve into a competitive and successful entrepreneur by participating in the market. MMWW project facilitated the creation of a women-friendly market environment; developing linkages with market actors and relevant stakeholders towards promoting and increasing access for women entrepreneurs in existing rural markets. The project also established linkages with online market platform for women entrepreneurs, so as to promote their engagement in e-commerce. In the present reality of the COVID-19 pandemic online marketing played a great role to sustain the enterprise of women entrepreneurs. They were able to trade their produce and flourish their business in 2020. AAB took an initiative to publish a Photobook to showcase the success stories of women entrepreneurs through the photobook ‘Market Transformation for Women’. It is a testimony of women’s contribution in transformation of society, and the significant contribution to their community, as well as national economy. I believe that Agri-entrepreneurship particularly by rural women is an important growing sector in the economy of Bangladesh. Therefore, it calls for recognition and investment to stimulate growth and further development.
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Annual Reports, Publications

#COVID19: Towards Resilience

ActionAid Bangladesh along with other networks and alliances successfully influenced the review and formulation of the of the 2020-2025 strategy
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Publications

Policy Brief on Youth Budget Framework

Due to the demographic window, Bangladesh has the opportunity of harnessing youth potential for achieving long term development objectives. Even though Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has associated investment in youth with the development trajectory of the country through various plans and policies, youth related discussions are not contextualized due to absence of policy coherence and consensus on intended outcomes. Lack of structured and holistic approach towards these discussions result in ineffective implementation of well-intended policies. Hence, this policy brief, jointly developed by ActionAid Bangladesh and SANEM (South Asian Network on Economic Modeling) construes that Bangladesh requires a formal, well-structured Youth Budget Framework (YBF) as part of the national budget to attain vital objectives by cashing in on demo- graphic dividend. A youth centric budget is intrinsically a framework of goals and visions to empower youths economically and socially. The designated monetary allocations in the budget will be analysed through a youth centric lens to equip the evidence-based policymaking process. In short, the youth budget framework will serve to represent the commitments of the Government of Bangladesh to invest holistically in youth development, alleviate challenges and bottlenecks which uniquely affect youths through various channels.
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Publications

Policy Brief: Impact of COVID 19 on Entrepreneurs and Workers

To utilize Bangladesh’s current demographic window, Bangladesh must harness its youth potentials to achieve the long-term development. The increased ratio of young women and men who have access to economic opportunities and sustainable income sources will help us to achieve our targeted goals. Access to flexible finances for young women and men especially those with limited indemnity to venture into self-employment or social entrepreneurship plays a crucial role if we want to reap this opportunity. The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) hold the most promise for creating jobs in both rural and urban areas. But the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt this sector as much it has affected our daily lives, specially the women entrepreneurs and workers. This policy brief is an attempt to explore the situation, challenge, and way forward on youth and women responsive strategy for MSMEs.
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Achievements

The empowerment of women at household and community level, raising awareness of and claiming their rights

The recognition, redistribution and reduction of unpaid care work which keeps women in the private sphere

The increase of women’s access to productive resources, markets and knowledge of sustainable practices, which will ensure women continue to have a livelihood in the longer term

Affecting policy and institutional change to provide an enabling environment that supports women’s economic empowerment

Related Projects

Projects

MAKING MARKET WORK FOR WOMEN

In Bangladesh, nutrition and SRH care are interlinked problems: poor food intake causes malnourishment, which leads to poor health and poor SRH perpetuates the inter-generational cycle of undernourishment. Deficiencies in nutrition and SRH care result in poor labor productivity and market performance. One of the key factors leading to (women’s) intake of poor nutritional food at home, poor reproductive, maternal and sexual health stems from lack of life skills (on SRH). Thus, poor reproductive health conditions adversely affect women’s ability to participate in activities outside of the home, which in turn manifests itself as their inability to participate in and shape the market.
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Projects

FGGII

Creating an enabling environment for civil society and human rights defenders to protect the affected communities from the negative impact of large scale infrastructural development projects and violation of human rights. Advocating for reform the land acquisition, compensation and resettlement related policies, and provisioning for safeguard measures in foreign investment projects.
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Projects

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

The campaigns against gender based violence are largely focused on making women more aware to prevent violent situations or what to do when such instances arise unexpectedly. The campaign “ Nari, e juddhe tumi eka nou” lists down emergency response centers and their contacts categorized according to districts. In addition to that, another campaign focuses on the needs of women friendly service centers. The main objective of such centers entail to stop gender based violence and providing social and psychological protection along with legal advice. Further to provide entertainment, social status and networking opportunities for girls, women and children. Gaining Social assistance and improving on required work skills are also expected from such centers. Such centers are also equally applicable for disaster stricken areas. During such instanc
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