Organization for Women's Development of Bangladesh

OWDEB's work is to bring about qualitative changes in women's rights, and establish their dignity and empowerment through their own participation towards a democratic just society. OWDEB's work targets rural farmers, small businessmen, urban women, garment workers, and youth. OWDEB reaches over 60,000 people in Chittagong district. Its work focuses on domestic violence, workers rights, sustainable practices, gender equality, and women's empowerment through microfinance and good governance.
Jun 29, 2009

June 2009 Update

Our most recent report from the field focuses on income-generating activities that have been accomplished with your support:

• Intensive 3-day trainings to strengthen business and financial skills for 3 groups with 37 women participating; 22 are now earning a steady income and are managing their businesses for long-term sustainability. • 40 women received microloans for income-generating activity, most for vegetable or rice cultivation, livestock purchase or small business ventures. 20 women are in the process of building their income as a result.

Additionally, with groups of 20 women, OWDEB provided leadership and awareness-raising activities on a variety of topics for 400 women focusing on decision-making in both home and community.

One topic was focused on Women’s Leadership Development. 135 group members participated in trainings on community engagement, along with attending as a group dramatic skits against family violence and rights-based issues, such as promoting punishment-free primary school, the perils of drug abuse, fighting against dowry and early marriage, freedom fighting, and a pollution-free environment, etc. The women’s groups also learn some of these songs in their orientation sessions.

Mar 5, 2009

March 2009 Update

Hosneara is one of the many women who have become self-sufficient through participating in OWDEB’s programs. Her story is but one of many success stories we hear from the field that are possible with help from donors like you.

Hosneara is 43 years old and has 4 children. For many years, her husband severely beat her and, without her consent, married a second wife and left her and their children. OWDEB staff contacted her and, with the help from a local government contact, they were able to help her recover from this abusive situation.

With OWDEB’s encouragement, Hosneara took part in their income-generation trainings and then received financial assistance to start a small-scale business selling dishware. Initially she was shy and unsure of herself and so OWDEB staff accompanied her as she began selling her product around her village.

Hosneara has come a long way since she was first put in touch with OWDEB. She has transitioned to selling clothing that she buys wholesale and then markets locally door-to-door. Although men occasionally heckle her, she now has the confidence to not let them deter her. She has an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit and, with her newfound income, is able to support her family independently. She is an inspiration to OWDEB staff.

Dec 9, 2008

December 2008 Update

OWDEB has observed that generating gender awareness through training and workshops is reducing discrimination against women. They report that female mobility and empowerment have increased through OWDEB-IDEX support in the form of counseling, training and capital for income generation.

One example of workshop success is the recent training on marketing management for twenty-eight female Group Leaders. Eight of the women are already applying knowledge gained to improve their small business management in selling clothes, flower and poultry, as well as Rickshaw rentals in rural areas.