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Promoting Rights of Girls to improve their access to activities

Countries:
Start project:
  • 2017
Donors:
  • Kerk in Actie
Partners:
  • Gana Unnayan Kendra

Promoting Rights of Teen-aged Girls to Improve their Access to Economic Activities (PROTIVA) is providing skills to the ethnic minority dropped out girls for better employment. Its also increase household level production through intensive use of homestead areas, reducing future school drop out of student by providing life-skill based education and creating mass awareness on different social issues like- child marriage, dowry, gender based violence, sanitation.

Adolescent period is very important in the human life cycle for the transition involving multi-dimensional changes: biological, psychological (including cognitive) and social. Adolescents are experiencing pubertal changes, changes in brain structure and sexual interest, at the same time; they are experiencing social changes and roles they are assumed to play in family, community and school. However, the effects of gender norms, discrimination, poverty and abuse can magnify the negative effect on young girls and leave them more vulnerable to negative health consequences than boys.

In Bangladesh like in other developing countries girls face discrimination and exclusion from participation in social, economic, and political life and their protection rights is undermined in families and communities. In many families, girls are viewed as an economic burden and marrying them off, including before they are 18, are viewed as a way to alleviate household expenses.

Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage in Asia, with 64% of girls getting married before the age of 18. When a girl marries, she usually drops out of school and begins full-time work in her husband's parents' household. In the in-laws' house, she often lacks status and bargaining power. She is more vulnerable to all forms of abuse, including dowry related violence.

When adolescent girls are pulled out of school, either for marriage or work, they often lose their mobility, their friends and social network. The lack of mobility among adolescent girls also curtails their economic and other non-formal educational opportunities. Being an adolescent school dropout girl in patriarchal society in rural Bangladesh today faces dire challenge.

Learning that she is an economic burden (that she was taught from the childhood) and the negative gender roles assigned by the society and family, the attempts by girls to retain their individuality are threatened on a daily basis. On the other side, limited or no access to technical and life skills, social insecurity and sexual abuse, lack of positive and strong female role models and inaccessibility to financial resources, contribute to a generation of adolescent girls for whom their parents feel marriage is the best and only life option for them, as their role as housewife and mother is seen to be their only viable fate.

This backdrop is leading the school dropout girls to have low aspirations. GUK believes that combination of life skills, and employable skills, job placement support and create self-income opportunities can improve the school dropout girls’ agency.

In addition, the people of the proposed working areas do not posses much knowledge and skill on disaster preparedness and climate change affect from different sources; in practice level those are not adequate. There is lack of access to climate smart technologies, poor early warning system, and absence of long lasting government initiative to cope with climate change impact. Therefore, there is much room to work on the Climate and Disaster resilience issues specially, capacity building of the community people, local government and other stakeholders on strengthening climate resilient livelihood.

Project Updates

Anjali is now confident enough

Anjali Mardi (22), daughter of Shikar Mardi and Kadani Hashada from the village of Joypurparha in Sapmara union of Gobindaganj upazila of Gaibandha district. Her father suffered from a serious disease and died in 2010 having no treatment due to poverty when Anjali was 14 years old. They have no land and even they live in a small hut on other lands. She could not continue her study after grade II due to the financial crisis and she stopped her study 2006. Anjali and her mother used to work as day labour and were passing days with extreme poverty. Her family member is 03. In this circumstance, GUK with support of ICCO Cooperation, came up with the Project ‘Promoting Rights of Teen-aged Girls to Improve their Access to Economic Activities (PROTIVA)’ in 2017 for supporting the poor families including ethnic minority people by providing skills training to teen-aged girls and other household support like capacity building training on IGA management and disaster preparedness for family members, asset and input support. According to the project criteria, Anjali was selected as a participant for three months long skills training (February 28, 2018, to May 28, 2018) on garments sewing machine operation. After completion of the training, she started to work in a garment factory in Tangail in July 2018 by the assistance of GUK. Presently she is getting a salary of BDT 8,400 and from her income, she bought a goat for her mother. Besides, her mother has got 4 goats BDT 17,300 and shed support for goat rearing, fruit saplings and vegetable seeds from the project. Now she has 9 goats and the present market value is around BDT 23,000. Anjali is now fully confident and she dreams to have a piece of own land and houses. Anjali says “she wants BDT 15000/ month.” Anjali’s mother says, ‘‘once we could not have meals three times a day, but now we can meet up our emergency needs alongside having three times meals.’’

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Countries:
Project started:
  • 2019
More info
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Countries:
Project started:
  • 2017
More info
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Countries:
Project started:
  • 2016
More info
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