Project Factsheet
Tools for » Joint UN Programme to Address Violence against Women in Bangladesh
Project ID:00067159Description:MDGF-1706-B-BGD Progr to Addre
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 10 Oct 2007
Theme:
MDGF Gender Equal & Empowermt
End Date*: 1 Jan 2017
Country: Bangladesh Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview:

The JP’s objective was to positively effect the lives of women and girls in Bangladesh by reducing, preventing and responding to VAW through the promotion of (i) an adequate policy and legal framework; (ii) changes in behaviors and attitudes that condone gender violence and; (iii) provision of comprehensive and culturally appropriate support to survivors through improved care and access to justice.

Key contributions include the following:

Judges and prosecutors were trained on national and international legal instruments around women’s rights and violence against women, and provided with knowledge on available services, including legal aid, shelter support and livelihood training, medical and psychosocial support through Women Support Centres, shelter homes, legal agencies, and women friendly hospitals. A Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Woment (CEDAW) Benchbook was created to serve as a reference for judges, police and key stakeholders in all court cases regarding Violence Against Women (VAW). It will be made available online and a simple version in Bangla was created.

Gender Responsive Budgeting was introduced through the budget analysis of 11 participating ministries, and officials within those ministries were trained. A preliminary costing exercise was carried out to chalk out possible budget requirement for implementing the Domestic Violence Act.

The programme helped to increase public awareness and commitment to fight violence against women (VAW) by supporting the United Nation’s Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign. It supported increased understanding of government officials (Judicial Officers, Police Officer, Administrative Officers) on CEDAW and on their obligations, while also providing evidence through knowledge creation, including research in the areas of sexual harassment at the work place, in universities, masculinity and VAW. The programme developed a Draft Code of Conduct for Media Professionals covering VAW.

Another area of focus the promotion of safe internal and international migration and improved government capacities to address VAW associated with it. Over 1.2 million people, including journalists, employers, trade union leaders, civil society members, district officials, teachers, religious leaders, curriculum developers, parents, sex workers, judges, prosecutors, and general public were reached directly through awareness raising and/or training activities, the programme also promoted increased awareness of the various issues among UN staff.

Legal frameworks around workplace Violence were revised in line with the ILO code of Practice. As a result, the Labor Act 2006 was revised and for the first time the Government included a session on VAW within its own training module. A Caucus with 14 Women MPs was formed to identify and lobby for gender rights.

The programme conducted a pilot study on data collection on VAW building on existing grass-roots mechanisms. Further support from the programme was provided to expand the pilot and its replication in all 6 districts.

The JP supported women, infected and affected by HIV by enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and providing them with small grants to support the start-up of Income Generating Activities (IGA) initiatives. It also raised awareness amongst politicians and helped create a caucus to advocate for the rights of LGB, HIV/AIDS and sexual workers.

In addition to its contribution to the achievement of current MDGs, the JP influenced the Post 2015 discussion at national level. As a result through the JP and other initiatives, the Government proposed to include “Achieve Gender Equality” as one of the post 2015 global goals with specific targets on ‘Eliminate violence against girls and women’; ‘Ensure equal opportunity and benefit for women in the economy’; ‘Ensure role of women in decision making process’; and ‘Eradicate child marriage’.

 

Outcome 1:

Policies and legal framework aimed at preventing violence against women (VAW), protecting and supporting survivors adopted, implemented and monitored.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Review of legal/policy framework based on the ILO code of Practice to address workplace Violence in Bangladesh, as well as sensitization and advocacy. As a result, the Labor Act 2006 was revised and for the first time the Government included a session on VAW within its own training module.
  • Increased capacities through training for law makers to implement CEDAW, Beijing Platform of Action, and related national policies toward gender equality in Bangladesh.
  • A caucus with 14 Women Members of Parliament (MPs) was formed and approved by the Speaker to initiate internal discussions, identify and lobby for issues around rights. The caucus will also work to increase capacity of the women MPs on legal tools and procedures on gender equality inclusive of the issues concerning VAW.
  • The CEDAW Benchbook was created to serve as a reference guide on CEDAW for judges, police and key stakeholders, and to be used in all court cases regarding VAW. It will be made available on?line. An accessible Bangla version of CEDAW, the CEDAW Booklet, was created.
  • Gender Responsive Budgeting was introduced through the budget analysis of 11 participating ministries. Selected officials within those ministries were trained on GRB. A preliminary costing exercise was carried out to chalk out possible budget requirement for implementing the Domestic Violence Act.
  • The programme conducted a pilot study on data collection on VAW building on existing grass-roots mechanisms. Further support from the programme was provided to expand the pilot and its replication in all 6 districts. The pilot was endorsed by the Ministry of Women’s affairs which was a partner and would be the guardian of the database, since the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) currently has no database on VAW.
  • Other awareness raising initiatives included: local artists performed 39 interactive drama shows; 840 film shows and community meetings;  23,638 poor rural women as well as 2,335 local youth of 388 unions under 6 districts received training and attended awareness raising events on VAW; Over 535 village level popular dramas on VAW, human rights and women empowerment were staged.
  • studies were  conducted, completed and disseminated  on VAW at the work place, sexual harassment at tertiary level education institutions, and female migrants and domestic workers' situation. One of the  results is that   an action Plan has been developed by University Grant Commission (UGC) to implement High Court Guidelines to prevent sexual harassment in the universities.

 

Outcome 2:

Social attitudes and behavior changes effected to reduce VAW and discriminatory practices.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Over 1.2 million people, including journalists, employers, trade union leaders, civil society members, district officials, teachers, religious leaders, curriculum developers, parents, sex workers, judges, prosecutors, and general public were reached directly through awareness raising and/or training activities, as well as increased awareness among UN staff.
  • The Bangladesh Employers Association has already incorporated VAW in their policies related to work place safety--a remarkable achievement towards women’s economic empowerment.
  • Information materials were developed for awareness campaign targeting potential migrants, especially women migrants, on the migration process, including rights and risks.
  • Studies on the migration situation of the female workers, including domestic workers, chatal workers (rice mill workers) and construction were used to develop an information package to be used by policy makers.
  • Community awareness sessions (courtyard meetings) were held for potential female migrants and domestic workers in Khulna, Gazipur, Dhaka city and adjoining areas to raise awareness about their rights and the migration process to protect them from exploitation. Communities were sensitized through community meetings, and orientation sessions were held for local government officials and local leaders.
  • The programme designed a 3day pre?departure orientation module and trained government trainers. Four housekeeping training facilities were set up in existing government training centres.
  • A training manual was developed for Labour Attaches on migration.
  • Secondary school curricula and some textbooks were revised for gender sensitivity. Barriers to achieve girl-friendly schools were identified.
  • The programme strengthened capacity of 50 parliamentarians and some civil society to address VAW in the context of HIV/AIDS.
  • Training manuals were developed for Judges and Prosecutors on Violence against Women.
  • The programme trained 979 Judges and 322 Prosecutors and over 2,000 religious leaders and female religious minded women were trained on VAW. 3 interfaith meetings  were held.
  • Developed a Draft Code of Conduct of Media Professionals on how to address VAW.

 

Outcome 3:

Conductive environment created, and capacities enhanced for providing care for women and girls who are vulnerable to, and/or have survived violence.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP supported women, infected and affected by HIV by enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and providing them with small grants to support the start-up of Income Generating Activities (IGA) initiatives.
  • Increased access to protection services for outgoing and incoming migrant workers provided through a help desk set up in three international airports (Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet) and Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET).
  • Increased Access to Protection Services for women affected by VAW through enhanced referral services at community level such as smart cards with phone access numbers, the development of training manuals and capacity building of service providers.
  • JP supported 9 women support centers for survivors of VAW, and provided training, health care, legal services and arbitration.
  • 6 existing shelters for under aged sex workers run by the Ministry of Social Welfare were supported with funds for food, fuel, bedding, clothing, medication, healthcare, cosmetics, education and IGA training for the creation of decent job opportunities and training.

 

Best Practices:

  • Best practices under Outcome 1: CEDAW Bench book as a reference tool for judges; CEDAW Training Manual; Training on CEDAW for government officials; GRB of 11 Ministries and costing for implementation of the Domestic Violence; and easier Bangla version of CEDAW.
  • Best practices under Outcome 2: courtyard meetings on internal and international migration; community drama sessions; awareness raising with communities and parliamentarians on sex workers and victims of trafficking; 16 day campaign as a UN-wide model to build on.
  • Best practices under Outcome 3: IGA activities seen as a best practice that can be replicated and scaled up with significant and sustainable impact. Linkages made between survivors and legal counseling
  • Holistic interventions through interagency approaches such as psychosocial counseling training for service providers in different sectors that assist survivors.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Design process is a key for joint programme. Adequate time and participation needs to be ensured.
  • Progamme strategies need to be agreed at the design stage (for advocacy, communications, monitoring, coordination, etc), and this will help to identify synergies and ensure clear division of roles.
  • Geographic spread has different impact depending on the nature of the activity.
  • The expected outcomes should be realistic and adapted to the resources available.
  • The programme design should adequately assess the existing human resources capacity and plan accordingly.
  • JP should develop a clear monitoring and evaluation strategy from the design stage and agree on tools, goals and capacity needs to implement it.
  • A coherent advocacy strategy to identify common messages, areas of focus and target beneficiaries is necessary for impact and visibility.
  • Sustainability of programme activities needs to be looked at the design stage, especially given the nature of VAW which requires a long term strategy beyond the scope of any programme. Commitments after the programme period should be agreed at the beginning and included in the Government’s TPPs so they can be included in planning cycles.
  • The UN is still learning how to do joint programming. Limiting the number of partners might facilitate the process.
  • In?country capacity, in addition to expertise and mandate, should be taken into consideration when looking at budget distribution.
  • Joint programming helps to avoid duplication and identify opportunities for synergies and collaboration, but only when partners participate in the joint programming process effectively and substantially.
  • Benefits of inclusiveness (in terms of number of agencies) are off set with challenges to coordination and hamper the learning process towards real joint programming
  • Joint programming requires investment of time in coordination process which should be taken into account when assessing human resource requirements.
  • Coordination structure needs to be fully in place from the beginning.
  • Joint programming has potential to be cost effective in terms of coverage and leverage. Overhead costs can also be reduced.
  • There is a need for a more realistic alignment between resources and goals, and this needs to be reflected in how achievements are measured (M&E framework).
  • Inadequate resources for M&E can lead to weak reporting, analysis and quality control.
  • It is difficult to ensure synergy at implementation level if planning is not based on comparative advantage of participating agencies and linkages between different interventions are not identified.
  • A common communication strategy needs to be in place from the beginning to ensure impact and visibility.

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Bangladesh or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Sydur Molla, Programme Analyst; Telephone: 8802-8118600 ext 1804; Email: sydur.molla@undp.org
  • Helal Uddin, Finance Associate; Telephone: 8802-8118600 ext 1945; Email: helal.uddin@undp.org; Skype: helal1812
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