Gender

Gender (8)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

New initiatives

In 2012, the following are the two new initiatives being taken:

A. Sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) programme:
Sexual and reproductive health rights programme started from July 2012 with the consortium of six partners as Oxfam Novib, BNPS, CAMPE, FPAB, HASAB and BRAC. It is a campaign based programme funded by Oxfam Novib, which aims to contribute to the significant reduction of the number of adolescent girls suffering from avoidable maternal deaths and the prevention of other major sexual and reproductive health hazards in both adolescent girls and boys. As the acceptance of contraception in adolescent girls and boys increases, pregnancies are delayed and maternal mortality decreases.

B. Violence against women (VAW):
The violence against women project started from September 2012 in Khulna with the consortium of We Can and Steps towards Development. This capacity building project, with contribution from United Nation Trust Fund (UNTF), aims to enhance the prevention of sexual harassment in public place.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Publications

GJD developed six docu-dramas on gender discrimination and violence against women; published a booklet on BRAC’s role to end violence against women and children, and GQAL case studies; three pocket books on sexual harassment and a Bengali version on CEDAW and early marriage; a study report titled “From Action Learning, To Learning To Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi”; three brochures on sexual harassment in public place, Fatwa and High Court judgment on sexual harassment elimination for the educational institutions and workplaces; and seven posters on different gender issues. GJD has initiated a quarterly publication named `Gender barta’, and also launched an in-depth study on GQAL change assessment.

IEC materials published by gender justice and diversity

Docudrama

SL

Name of the Docudrama

Year of production

1.

Swapnochara (access and control over the property)

2009

 

Protigga (domestic violence)

2009

3.

Agiecholo (sexual harassment)

2010

4.

Alokkhi (discrimination and torture)

2010

5.

Alorpothe (food and nutrition)

2010

6.

Andhobishwas (health and treatment)

2010

7.

Swapnopuron (education)

2010

8.

Dinbodolerdak (work division, recreation and rest)

2010

 

Other publications

Brochure

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

 

Against sexual harassment

2010

1.

High court direction on sexual harassment (Bengali)

2011

2.

High court direction on sexual harassment (English)

2011

3.

Fotoya

2011

. 4.

GJD brief

2012

 

Leaflet

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

VAW, 16 days campaign

2010

2.

Leaflet against sexual harassment

(for MEJNIN Project)

2011

3.

CEDAW

2011

4.

 International Women’s day 

2012

 

Booklet/Pocket Book

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

Booklet on GQAL study report From Action Learning, To Learning to Act: Lessons From GQAL

2009

2.

Booklet on BRAC’s role on violence against women

2010

3.

Booklet on GQAL success stories/cases

2010

4.

Pocket Book on sexual harassment

2011

5.

Pocket Book on CEDAW

2011

6.

Pocket book against early marriage

2012

 

Poster

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

Work division

2010

2.

Domestic violence

2010

3.

Sexual harassment/teasing

2010

4.

Health and treatment

2010

6.

Education

2010

7.

GQAL main messages

2010

8.

C4D main messages

2011

9.

SHRC main messages

2012

 

Bulletin

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

SHRC

2012

2.

Gender barta

2012

 

Other documents/report

  1. Mahmud et. al. (2012), Gender Norms and Behaviours in CFPR areas: Assessing the Performance of GQAL in Three Districts, BDI, BRAC University, Dhaka
  2. BRAC (2012a, draft), Narrative Report on Meyeder Jonny Nirapod Nagorikotto (MEJNIN), Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  3. BRAC (2012b, draft), A Journey to Zero Tolerance: Combating Sexual Harassment in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  4. BRAC (2011a, memo), Concepts and Practices: experiences of sexual harassment in BRAC—a survey report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  5. BRAC (2011b, memo), Factual Analysis of Sexual Harassment Cases: Year 2006-2010, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  6. Start, R (2011), BRAC Gender Audit: Final Report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  7. Hafiza, S (2011), Engendering BRAC, paper presented at the BRAC Board Gender Retreat in December 2011, Dhaka
  8. BRAC (2011, draft), Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: BRAC Strategy 2011-2015, BRAC, Dhaka
  9. BRAC (2010), Shaking Embedded Gender Roles and Relations: an evaluation of Gender Quality Action Learning program, Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC, Dhaka
  10. BRAC (2010, draft), MEJNIN baseline report, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  11. BRAC (2008), From Action Learning, to Learning to Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  12. BRAC (2008), Sexual Harassment Elimination Policy, BRAC, Dhaka
  13. BRAC (2008, memo), Discussion report on dropped-out female staff in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  14. BRAC (2007), BRAC Gender Policy: Towards Gender Equality, BRAC, Dhaka
Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Network and alliance

GJD is working with different alliances and forums to influence policy makers to formulate and revise laws, rules and regulations against all types of gender based violence, and also for policy advocacy.

•    At the invitation of the Ministry of Planning, BRAC reviewed the national sixth five-year plan with a gender focus, and made specific recommendations for improving the plan, as well as for the implementation strategy.

•    The GJD team reviewed the Microfinance Regularity Authority (MRA) Act from a gender perspective which has now been accepted as government policy.

•    The GJD team also worked actively to help the government enact the National Women’s Development Policy 2011, the sexual harassment guidelines, and the National Education Policy.

•    In the past year, BRAC participated in a number of national and international networks and meetings geared towards building stronger solidarity around gender and human rights issues, including CEDAW conference in Geneva, South Asian social forum in Bangladesh, South Asian human rights alliance, World Social Forum (WSF), South Asian Network to Address Masculinity (SANAM), Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR), South Asia Partnership international (SAP).

•    GJD is also an active member of Social Action Committee (a platform consisting of 67 development organisations), citizen’s initiative on CEADAW, Bangladesh (a national platform of 38 rights organisation, working on CEDAW and international treaties); WE CAN CAMPAIGN (working to end domestic violence against women and children), National Girl Child Advocacy Forum (working on different girl child issues), and Campaign for Popular Education, a national coalition of NGOs working towards the implementation of programme interventions in the education sector including the education curriculum.

•    In 2012, BRAC initiated to form and lead a new platform to combat against child marriage with other organisations (Care, Plan, population council, icddr,b, BLAST, LAMP, FPAB, white ribbon alliance Bangladesh, Marie Stopes etc.)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Gender training unit

GJ&D is conducting gender training for professional development and amity among male and female staff through attitudinal and behavioural change. Gender Sensitisation Training (GST) and Gender Awareness and Analysis Course (GAAC) are such courses being offered for the staff.  In addition, the section is organising specialised gender training by the external trainer for higher management.

GJ&D also provides training to external organisations on different gender aspect on the basis of their demand.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Programme intervention

Gender01

POSITION (poribortito jiboner sandhane - to enhance a positive life)
The POSITION programme was launched in Gazipur and Gaibandha in 2011 with the lessons learnt from GQAL. The main purpose of the POSITION programme was to create gender justice and improve gender relations in the family and community at large as well as to combat gender based discrimination and violence against girls and women. The extended actions aimed at empowering the women to be actively engaged in realising their rights and equality through increased household decision making, reduced violence against women incidents, demonstrate increased knowledge, attitude and practice, and place an additional focus on youth engagement and sexual harassment in rural areas. It targets approximately  390,000 households among an estimated population of 1,950,000 in 40 unions of the eight areas. The new actions focus on formation and functioning of gender culture change volunteer (770 in total) and the strengthening awareness, mobility, participation, rights and transforming ideology (SAMPRTI) groups, 770 in total, along with the previous groups of gender justice educators and volunteer youth educators to foster community actions towards ending violence against women and sexual harassment against girls. POSITION works in 40 unions, in eight upazilas in eight districts across Bangladesh.

MEJNIN (meyeder jonno nirapad nagorikotta – safe citizenship for girls)
MEJNIN is an innovative programme to raise conscience, especially amongst young people, against sexual harassment of girl students at public places. MEJNIN is working in 160 schools of Dhaka and rural areas, and is targeting to cover 400 schools to raise awareness among the students, teachers, and parents against sexual harassment in public places. The MEJNIN project serves to sensitise youths against sexual harassment as it is a punishable crime, to build their confidence and motivate them to act as change makers both as individuals and collectively, to protect, protest and resist sexual harassment at public places.

Gender quality action learning (GQAL) programme
GQAL is considered an important step into the internal process of promoting gender equality in BRAC. This is a training focused programme aimed at improving gender relations both at organisation and communities. It was launched in 1995 to improve the quality of BRAC programmes, and build gender relations amongst staff within the organisation. At the community level, it included the members of BRAC’s village organisation (VO) on a pilot basis during 2001-2003 with the aim to improve gender relations and enhance gender equality in the respective areas. After successful completion of the VO-based GQAL programme in four rural areas, it was expanded to 50 sub-districts in 12 districts, covering 30,000 households. BRAC’s targeting the ultra-poor programme addresses the needs of ultra-poor women, men and community people towards ending gender-based discrimination and violence in the family and society.

GQAL training for BRAC staff covered 90 per cent of the staff at its peak stage. At the community level a total of 3,000 men and women were given GQAL training, who were selected from BRAC’s specially targeted ultra-poor project, Polli Shamaj (a combination of two or more VOs), VOs, gram daridra bimochon committee (members of the village elites), union parishad members (the lowest administrative unit of the government), and shasthaya shebikas (community health volunteers).

The GQAL is unique because it encouraged adaption from the organisation level to the community level, and also because its approaches include both women and men from the same family.

The programme has made a significant impact by generating community movements for women and children, increasing men's awareness on women's education, foods, nutrition’s, division of labour, rest and recreation, domestic violence, control and access to resource, health issues, and increasing male participation in household work.
 
Communication for development (C4D)
From December 2010, advocacy for social change and gender justice and diversity jointly implemented a project, ‘Communication for Development: Promoting Sustainable Behaviour and Social Development Changes’ in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-district under Cox’s Bazaar district in partnership with UNICEF. The project intended to disseminate information in an integrated manner to ensure that community members are knowledgeable, and continuously practice key life-saving care and protective behaviours on health, hygiene, education, and child protection.

Community sensitisation on CEDAW
The community sensitisation on CEDAW (convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women) pilot programme developed user-friendly information, education and communication (IEC) materials, and oriented 6,243 students and 200 community leaders, including media personalities, teachers, government officials and elected representatives.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Gender climate

Gender Policy (GP) and Sexual Harassment Elimination (SHE) Policy
GJ&D is primarily responsible for overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Gender and SHE policy. The section has also been providing technical assistance within the organisation through policy review, awareness rising against sexual harassment, organising different workshop, training, forums etc. GJ&D developed a Gender Policy Operational Guideline (GPOG) to focus with different level staff responsibility to implement the Gender policy. It is in the process to develop a Gender Analysis Framework recently to mainstream the gender justice goal throughout BRAC.


Assist in implementing a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on sexual harassment within the organisation
BRAC has adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to any form of sexual harassment and abuse at the work place. GJ&D formulated a Sexual Harassment Elimination (SHE) Policy in 2004 - one of the firsts in Bangladesh to address the sexual harassment and take punitive actions in organisational level. Later it was upgraded and reprinted in 2008. BRAC is committed to follow the honourable High Court Division’s (HCD) guideline against sexual harassment that was promulgated on May 14, 2009. As part of the commitment, the SHE policy has been reviewed addressing the organisations present concern.

Through Gender & SHE policy orientation and different campaign activities, GJ&D creates awareness which helps to implement ‘zero tolerance’ policy on sexual harassment within the organisation.


Inclusion of Gender issues into program through Gender Focal Points (GFP)
Gender Focal Points (GFP) are responsible to address gender equality through their programme interventions following Gender Policy. GFPs are nominated by the respective programme/ department, and play a vital role to ensure equal and fair working environment for both men and women. They try to retain and increase women staff in their programme and department and organise Gender Policy, SHE policy orientation, National Women Development Policy discussion and other conceptual discussion within their respective programme. GJD provides continuous support in the capacity development of GFPs in regards to gender related issues, women’s empowerment, gender analysis, and gender mainstreaming strategies, etc.


Mon Khule Katha Bola Forum (To listen to the voice of the staff)
To promote a gender sensitive working environment and deal with unfavourable and insensitive attitude among the staff, Mon Khule Katha Bola Forum was designed to address staff concerns, frustrations and work place problems. GJ&D approaches with the findings from a sharing forum to bring the concerns to the line management for necessary solutions and inclusion of the findings in policy review.  GJ&D welcomes counseling and motivation of the staff in difficulties.  This forum ensures the confidentiality, trust and friendliness among the participants and forward their problem solving from management aspects.

GENDtalk
GENDtalk Lecture Series is a new event of GJ&D that aims at helping the BRAC staff to enhance their level of knowledge and understanding on a range of issues related to gender and development. The GENDtalk is organized on a quarterly basis.


DOLNA (Day care centre for learning, nurturing, and advancement)
Day Care Centre of Learning Nurturing and Advancement (DOLNA) was established to ensure smooth participation of working mothers, and enable them to continue their job retention. DOLNA encourages and ensures child’s rights to breast-feeding, safe and secure environment for child care and development. The crèche also inspires men to let their wives retain employment.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Milestones

1970s: The decade of women empowerment

1973 Gender equality rooted in the Sulla Project and women’s groups formed

1975 Women's project (with women handicraft producers) commences in Jamalpur to involve women directly in income generated assets (IGA)


1980s: The decade of women as rural professionals

1985 Enrolment of 70 per cent girls in non-formal primary education programme


1990s: The decade of applying gender equality principles within BRAC

1991 Women's health and development programme was initiated

1992 Organised gender consultation meetings with senior management to assess the need for gender training for BRAC staff, while assessing the quality of training

1993 Pioneered management level, five-day long gender training on gender awareness and analysis course (GAAC) for staff with the aim of raising awareness and building analytical skill

1994 Conducted an intensive assessment survey on the gender needs of BRAC staff members

1995 The gender and organisational change intervention began formally through internal and external expertise. A series of discourses took place with BRAC senior managers, including all levels of staff and external experts
Proactively promoted women’s leadership
BRAC’s non-formal primary education programme replicated in Africa
Gender quality action learning (GQAL) programme launched to improve staff relations, and improve the quality of BRAC programmes
"Women only" recruitment policy adopted for the year

1996 The gender resource centre (GRC) established for dissemination of gender ¬related information.
Launched Mina project in partnership with UNICEF
Eight months leave without pay introduced for women staff in addition to the three months paid maternity leave

1997 BRAC gender policy launched
BRAC organisational values defined – a drive of learning, un-learning, relearning, and bring about a gender sensitive organisational cultural to listen, challenge and innovate.
BRAC staff appraisal incorporated as an indicator of gender sensitivity
Critical analysis and open discussion with staff members on sexual harassment (SH) 

2003 All senior managers received gender training
Gender equality diversity team commenced with senior staff from all programmes

2004 Sexual harassment elimination (SHE) policy was enforced
Initiated “Mon Khule Kotha Bola” (To listen to the voice of the staff) forum to enable a friendly and communicative environment within the organisation.
Sexual harassment elimination (SHarE) section established
Increased seven days paternity leave instead of three days
Organised gender and SHE policy orientation
A microfinance loan for commercial sex workers is initiated

2005 Gender justice and diversity programme incepted under the human resources division, and the human resources policy and procedure (HRPP) integrated gender sensitivity
Gender quality action learning attached with the CFPR programme as a component

2006 Pilot project on sexual harassment launched with adolescent school children

2007 Gender policy was reviewed and updated
All programme-nominated gender focal points implemented gender policy on behalf of their respective programmes/departments

2008 SHE policy was reviewed and upgraded
Developed gender analysis framework for the Water and Sanitation and Hygiene programme
Gender sensitivity training launched for all branch offices

2009 Gender justice and diversity became an independent division with different projects focusing on gender equality within the organisation, and at the national and international level


2010s: The decade of strategic changes
MEJNIN – Meyeder Jonno Nirapad Nagorikotto (safe citizenship for girls) programme initiated to combat sexual harassment at public places
POSITION – Poribortito Jiboner Sandhane (to enhance a positive life) programme initiated to combat household level gender discrimination and domestic violence
Initiated a project with UNICEF as ‘Communication for Development: Promoting Sustainable Behaviour and Social Development Changes.’

2011 A gender audit was conducted
SHE policy was reviewed
Sexual harassment elimination (SHarE) unit became a part of GJD as a secretariat of the sexual harassment redressal committee (SHRC)
Gender equality goal (GEG) was formulated, and GEG Goal and Action Plan was approved by the BRAC governing body

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Overview

“BRAC believes in gender justice and diversity, and we have worked for decades to integrate gender justice into the programmes and eliminate gender injustice in society,” such is the opinion of the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. For BRAC, gender justice and diversity means working simultaneously within the organisation and with the society.

The gender justice and diversity (GJD) division works to realise BRAC’s vision which is to free the world from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential. The division facilitates services to achieve gender equality within BRAC, focusing on gender equality at the local, national and international levels, where women and men have access to equal rights and opportunities, as well as can act to realise own choices and potentials in economic, social and cultural spheres.

After starting its official journey in 2005, the programme has a proven track record in facilitating community movement on violence against women (VAW) and children. It helps to build a gender-friendly working environment and community platform. Each individual within BRAC and in the community works as agents of change to establish a just society for women, men and children. Besides, the programme has been trying to incorporate the issue of diversity in all programme interventions. It acts as a catalyst to promote sensitivity on issues such as sexual and reproductive rights, people with different sexual orientation, and people with different abilities and cultural background. In addition to this, GJD is actively involved in the national level policy advocacy through different human rights organisations, networks and alliances of government, non-government, and civil society organisations.  GJD further seeks to work with various government departments to implant gender sensitivity and equality in future national policies.

Background
GJD’s journey towards gender equality is rooted in BRAC’s Sulla Project in 1973. Recognising the distinct needs of poor women for empowerment and mutual support, BRAC formed the first women’s village organisation. Since the late 1980s, BRAC has directed its policies and programmes toward achieving gender equality through sustained interventions targeting women's—especially rural women’s - basic needs and strategic interests through health care, legal education, access to credit, gender awareness and training, and more. While addressing various issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment, GJD focus on both BRAC and the targeted populations. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed once said, “Gender equality is a sensitive issue which requires commitment from every level of the organisation and the integration of gender perspective into all activities”.  Thanks to this commitment, BRAC was one of the firsts in the development world to introduce a gender policy and form a gender equality diversity team (GEDT) in the mid-1990s.


Goal
Promote gender equality, empowerment and inclusiveness within BRAC as well as within the wider community. 


Objectives
1. To promote a culture and environment, inclusiveness within all programmes, that respects gender equality
2. To build capacity of staff to achieve BRAC’s goal of gender equality
3. To create a platform for community mobilisation against gender-based discrimination and domestic violence, sexual harassment at the workplace and public-place
4. To promote sexual and reproductive health rights within the society
5. To increase policy advocacy networking for women’s rights, both nationally and internationally

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