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.