Help Women To Be Self-Sufficient in Bangladesh

by Organization for Women's Development of Bangladesh

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.

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.

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.

In the past months OWDEB has facilitated vocational training in livestock rearing and small business development. The women who wanted to have more opportunities for selling their goods specifically requested this training to develop their knowledge.

20 women participated in OWDEB’s livestock training where they learned about how to raise cows, goats, ducks, chickens etc. In the Small Entrepreneurial Development program OWDEB provided them with training on mushroom cultivation, tailoring, plantation etc. Next, OWDEB will conduct trainings on candle, soap confection and food preservation according to group members’ interest.

Furthermore, 16 group leaders received an orientation on marketing management to share with their groups. Motivated by the idea of improving their markets, some of the group leaders approached the managers of the Barama area market to request a stall for selling the vegetables produced by OWDEB group members. They are currently in negotiations with the market to open this stall.

In the last year, OWDEB organized several training workshops to improve leadership development and gender equality among women.

The following trainings were conducted: • 5 training workshops on gender relations to 101 participants • 4 training workshops on “Women Rights and Our Law” and The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to 90 participants • 1 training on Human Rights/Leadership development for 22 group leaders

The main challenge for conducting these workshops has been the opposition of fundamentalists and religious leaders who believe that these activities go against Islam.

In order to address this negative perspective and attitude against women, OWDEB has organized meetings with the Chairman of the Union Parishad, an elected local government body. These bodies are for the management of local affairs by locally elected persons. In addition, OWDEB met with community members, community elite and leaders to explain the programs and activities of OWDEB, its expected output and its positive impact on the whole community.


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Organization Information

Organization for Women's Development of Bangladesh

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Katherine Zavala
Program Officer, IDEX
San Francisco, CA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 33 donors like you, a total of $1,764 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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