Women of Action Bangladesh

Project Overview

Across the floodplains of Bangladesh we are empowering disadvantaged girls and women to discover their potential, restore their dignity and transform their own communities. Previously overlooked women are rising up as small business owners and influential community leaders. Lifting themselves and their vulnerable children out of poverty, they are now a hope for the future.

Country Background

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The total population is 164 million, of whom 15 million live in Dhaka. Bangladesh suffers from many problems such as poor infrastructure, political instability, and corruption. One of the main causes of rural poverty is linked to its geography. A large proportion of the country is low-lying, and thus is at a high risk to flooding. Many of the rural poor live in areas that are prone to extreme annual flooding which causes huge damage to their crops, homes and livelihoods. Child malnutrition rates are at 48%, a condition that linked to the low status of women in society.

Project Objectives

50% of women in Bangladesh are married between the ages of 15-19 although girls at this stage are twice as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth as women aged 20-24. Poor Bangladeshi women have a nearly 50% lower literacy rate than men. FH created the "Women of Action" programme to help Bangladeshi women overcome these injustices and to benefit their families. The aim is to work with the poorest women to help them discover their God given potential, restore their dignity and take their rightful place in community and family life.

Activities

Learning and savings groups are an opportunity for women to come together to achieve real change in their lives. Building on biblical values, the women learn literacy and numeracy, how to keep their families healthy, what their legal rights are and ways to earn an income for themselves and their family. It is this holistic approach to developing the women not only physically, but spiritually, emotionally and intellectually that is the key to the success of "Women of Action."