In solidarity with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, Counterpart’s Promoting Advocacy and Rights (PAR) activity provided a virtual platform for Bangladeshi women and men to amplify strategies to end violence against women, promote accountability, and drive meaningful change in marginalized communities.
The project hosted the webinar, titled “Unified to End Gender-Based Violence and Advance Human Rights,” on December 10, 2023 to coincide with Human Rights Day. More than 50 participants (35 women and 18 men) who are PAR network members engaged in the discussion, which featured empowering narratives from grassroots women and youth leaders about the impact of gender-based violence in their communities and their work to promote gender equality and positive change. Here are some of the highlights from the discussion.
- A woman leader from the Balurmuth slum in Dhaka discussed her successful efforts to mobilize her community to fight sexual harassment through the establishment of a Violence Against Women committee.
- A female youth leader from the Cobbler community in Maniknagar, Dhaka highlighted how she’s helping to build the confidence of her peers to stand up to sexual harassment and violence.
- A woman from Khulna described how she overcame child marriage and domestic violence and emerged as a gender-based violence advocate. She now serves as a mediator to connect domestic violence survivors with their district legal aid committee.
- A Dalit woman from Khulna talked about how she survived child marriage and domestic abuse and is helping to facilitate vocational training opportunities for women in her community to build their confidence and ability to support themselves and their children.
16 Days of Activism is an international campaign to challenge and combat gender-based violence in all its forms. The project strategically hosted this discussion as part of activism efforts on Human Rights Day, to emphasize that violence against women is a human rights violation and to recognize our partners’ leadership in defending human rights in their communities. Our grantees all underscored the importance of capacity building and community mobilization to build the confidence of marginalized groups to speak up and demand their rights. They also highlighted the importance of engaging male allies to successfully end violence against women.