Bonhishikha and Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) with support from International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP) hosted an online discussion session on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) on Monday marking the official launching of the new project named Women Gaining Ground (WGG).
Women Gaining Ground is a new Global South-led five-year project led by CREA, Akili Dada and IWRAW AP in five priority countries- Bangladesh, India, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
In Bangladesh, it is implemented by three strategic partners: Bonhishikha, WDDF and Naripokkho, said a media release.
Through this project, they aim to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence by supporting the leadership, decision-making, and political participation of young women, women with disabilities, and other marginalized communities.
Representatives from the consortium partners, embassies in Bangladesh, UN bodies, stakeholders, development partners, and project partners and participants were present during the event.
The event started with a brief presentation on the Women Gaining Ground project by Samina Yasmin, Programmes Coordinator of Bonhishikha.
Mushfiqua Satiar, Senior Policy Adviser -SRHR and Gender, Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, delivered welcome remarks.
It was followed by speeches by Audrey Lee from IWRAW AP and Babita Sinha from CREA.
Ashrafun Nahar Misti, Executive Director of WDDF gave a presentation on the current state of SGVB on women with disabilities in the workplace where she discussed how these women face multifold discrimination and violence for their disabilities at home and in their workplace.
Another keynote speaker, Taslima Yasmin, Associate Professor, Department of Law, Dhaka University reflected on the current legal provisions and gaps in dealing with SGBV issues in workplaces.
She emphasized on how the laws and policies are still archaic and are not always applicable to address such issues.
The last keynote speaker was Tasaffy Hossain, Founder and Managing Partner of Bonhishikha, who talked about how we would address SGBV through WGG project to reach their objectives.
Nasima Begum, President of National Council of Disabled Women and newly elected Union Parishad Member of Mithapukur in Rangpur, delivered the closing remarks urging all to continue the conversation and collaboration to ensure everyone’s equal rights and access.