Focusing on gender issues is integral to our work in helping communities improve security. Many of the insecurities that are identified by communities in Bangladesh revolve around gender – from domestic abuse (around one in two women has experienced some form of abuse by a partner) and early marriages (the average age of marriage for women and girls is around 16 years) to damaging expectations of how men and women should behave.
We meet with groups of men and women to hear their concerns – in a space where they feel comfortable sharing their views. After they have identified some of the major security issues in the community, these groups then develop plans to address them. Sometimes this means tackling issues such as gender-based violence head-on; in other cases it means simply having discussions in a setting where people of all genders and sexual orientations are able to voice their concerns and work toward solutions.
In all of our work on gender in Bangladesh we ensure women’s voices are heard and that they are able to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
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