There is a backlog of over 3.3 million court cases in courts across Bangladesh.
We provide a platform for one million women to raise their voices through democratic grassroots institutions which aim to close the gap between communities and local governments.
We educate and support women to exercise their rights, develop leadership and support actions against gender-based violence and injustice. In parallel, we work with local governments to improve governance through institutional strengthening and gender sensitising. We also work with students in secondary schools to create safe spaces for girls.
We offer services such as legal education and dispute resolution. We engage with local community leaders to ensure better access to rights and entitlements.
Through a network of entrepreneurs and staff, we provide land services, including land measurement, to help people with the least access to property to navigate the land ownership system.
This year we accelerated gender integration work within BRAC to align with SDG 5 of increased realisation of rights and resilience for women and girls.
Focus areas included empowering women to claim their rights to equal treatment under the law, combating violence against women and children, drawing on the power of innovation and technology and building leaders. A major area of work was mobilising men and young people, civil society and women’s rights activists to inform and influence policy discussions on ending child marriage.
One of my proudest moments was when I stopped my classmate’s marriage. We went to her house and spoke to her parents. They did not listen at first, but we did not give up. We explained that girls – including their daughter - can do amazing things if they are given an education. We tried and tried and wouldn’t leave until they listened to us. I stopped my sister from getting married off too, because a dowry was involved.
I want to be a development worker. My passion began when I heard about a five-day programme on leadership development, violence against women and children, and cyberbullying. I was nervous initially, but I learned so much on the very first day. We made a sexual harassment map and marked the riskiest areas. Our teachers helped us. We went to places where a lot of sexual harassment took place, and talked to boys, the police, and people in those communities.
I wrote an essay on these topics, won first prize and was invited to speak at Cumilla Town Hall. Everyone was really proud of me. That is when I started thinking – if a girl like me can win prizes and give a speech at Cumilla Town Hall, why can’t all girls? Why should we all just get married as children? My mother was married when she was 12 years old. I don’t want to do that. It does not matter if I am a girl. I have so much to do.