Empowering women in Bangladesh through literacy and participation

Alongside our local partner CAD, we’ll be directly supporting 270 women through practical literacy training in the areas of health, livelihoods and awareness of local politics. This will enable women to improve the quality of their lives and that of their families.

Practical literacy training

In the Jhenaidah District where our project is based, gender inequality is also limiting women’s social and economic development. Women there face a lack of skills for effective economic resource management, under-representation in local government and disproportionate effects of poverty.

Our project will use practical literacy training as a foundation for women to improve their quality of life; by increasing their awareness and understanding of health, livelihoods and local government. We’ll be working with nine women’s Self-Help groups, with 25 women in each group.

Overall, we will be working to achieve greater efforts in education, a change in harmful social norms and conditions, a fairer political and legal environment and women’s empowerment – which will help towards breaking this this vicious cycle of gender inequality.

As part of the project, 270 women will complete a participatory literacy programme incorporating skill-specific training. Course material will link literacy with skills training in three priority areas 1) income generation and financial management, 2) health awareness and 3) political participation.

As a result, women will be able to increase their household incomes and savings, they will be able to understand basic health information to enhance family health and women will feel empowered to become active participants in their communities, promoting women’s participation in local politics.

Also, 1,125 people will indirectly benefit from this work, as all 270 women are each expected to informally pass on knowledge and skills to five female family members.

Women living in Bangladesh face very high levels of gender inequality, with 46% being married between 15-19 and 53% of women having experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner at some point in their lives.