In Bangladesh, half of the population is women with low socio-economic conditions. With multi-dimensional problems in society and gender disparity, it is difficult for women to stay parallel and enjoy the right of equal participation. Some of the critical issues for women that need to be addressed to reduce gender disparity are lack of equal opportunity for women in education , work and health services. Only 9.7% of women are in the formal sector while 90.3% are in the informal sector. Alongside, only 28% of students involved in technical and vocational training are women. Considering these issues, JAAGO in collaboration with UN Women arranged youth-led consultations and national events to capacitate youth on the 12 critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Increase Bangladesh’s youth understanding of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and bring forward their perspectives and recommendations to improve gender equality in Bangladesh
1. Youth-led consultations: A total of 700 youth from 10 districts of Bangladesh gained a better understanding of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action through youth-led consultation meetings. Youths’ perspectives and recommendations for improving gender equality in Bangladesh were also brought forward.
2. Youth-Focused National Events:
A dialogue was held at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) among 150 youth where the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were discussed. The panelists discussed the traditional mindset of society and participants sharing their concerns about the revision of the existing gender policies.
Rallies and cultural events were organized by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad with support from UN Women in Central Shahid Minar, Dhaka, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Forum for Action. CSO representatives and 50 volunteers from JAAGO participated and proclaimed their support on behalf of women’s human rights organizations.
A session on “Youth Voice for the Future” was held at JAAGO’s National Youth Assembly in 2020. Every year this assembly connects the nation’s youth with renowned professionals, practitioners, and policymakers from many quadrants to discuss how to make development sustainable and implement the SDGs successfully across Bangladesh through active youth participation. Around 600 youth participated in the assembly where the session focused on informing youth on reducing gender inequality, empowering women, reducing violence against women and ensuring women’s rights.
3. Social Media Campaign: A four-month-long mass awareness campaign was conducted highlighting the critical issues discussed in the youth-led consultation.