Project Name: Supporting Human Rights Defenders Working for Women’s and Girls’ Rights in Bangladesh

Last Modified: 2018-07-26

The Government of Bangladesh ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations against Women and passed the Women Development Policy 2011 to ensure strong protection for women and girls’ rights. Yet, women and girls in Bangladesh are deprived of their Constitutional rights in accessing justice and gender-based violence is a very common phenomenon.

Unacceptable social attitude among a section of the society and officials towards women and girls, weak enforcement of women-friendly laws and regulations, slow but insufficient judicial protection, inadequate social protest and protection, poor family environment, poor and inadequate intervention from human rights defenders (HRDs) and weak voice of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are the major impediments in ensuring women’s and girls’ rights.

Following the above circumstances USS has started journey with the News Network through a project name Supporting Human Rights Defenders Working for Women’s and Girls’ Rights in Bangladesh’ to ensure women’s and girls’ rights . It is a three-year project and activities started in January 2018. The project is funded and technical support by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the News Network collaboration with USS in eight districts along the Indo-Bangla international border namely Satkhira, Jessore, Rajshahi, Niphamari, Rangpur,Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram. USS is playing directly operational role in Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram district under Rangpur division.

Objectives: The overall objective of the action is to provide support to Women Human Rights Defenders and/or Human Rights Defenders (W/HRDs) working for women’s and girls’ rights in Bangladesh, which is specifically address to;

  • To recognise and promote the role of WHRDs in the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to protect them addressing the challenges, risks and threats that they may face;
  • To support and protect WHRDs at risk due to their work for the promotion and protection of the full enjoyment of women’s and girls’ rights;

Targeted beneficiaries:

Media professionals of print, electronic and social medias including potential young women journalists and rural media gatekeepers-editors, news editors and executive editors, rural journalists and creative women journalists;

Rural civil society organisations’ leaders, both male and female; and rural religious leaders who are working to promote women’s and girls’ rights;

Expected Results:

• Functioning platform and network of rural W/HRDs for promoting, networking,  coordination, cooperation, and raising voice against and address the challenges, risks and threats that they may face

• Strengthened the capacities of rural W/HRDs in recognising and promoting their roles and protecting themselves from specific challenges, risks and threats due to their work for promotion and protection of  the full enjoyment of women’s and girls' rights 

•  Established integrated protection systems for rural W/HRDs that make their access to services like wellbeing, psycho-social, medical and legal support

•    Documented and replicated good lessons and practices