For over a decade, Sabita, whose husband abandoned her, had been looking for opportunities for a better life. She had to consider the well-being of her son too. Things started looking up, as the 30-year-old got a job at a garment factory following a training for women from the underprivileged Dalit community.
Like Sabita, many women have been beneficiaries of a project called “Jukta Hoye Mukta” (United We Stand) that completed its tenure yesterday with an event highlighting its success at Six Seasons Hotel in the capital. The aim was to raise awareness among women, mostly divorced or separated from their husbands, through giving them information and to empower them by enhancing their skills.
Under the project that ran from February 1, 2016, a mobile app was developed to disseminate information on child marriage, menstrual health, family planning and many other important issues. Daycare centres, complaint centres and adolescent clubs were also set up. The European Union provided the funds while Terre Des Hommes Italia oversaw the project implementation with the help of seven local organisations, including Manusher Jonno Foundation.
“The project succeeded in affirming an alternative model for women, turning them into 'respected breadwinners' in their households,” said Valentina Lucchese, country representative of Terre des Hommes Italy, while speaking at the programme.
The women who participated in the project chose to break gender stereotypes and work for a better future for their children, themselves and their families, she added.
Regarding childcare, Valentina said conversations were on with several factories in Gazipur to sustain components of the project. “All these elements clearly indicate synergies between private sector and civil society organisations are untapped, and more efforts need to be made towards this direction.”
Jukta Hoe Mukta, on a small scale, has shown that multi-stakeholder alliances are possible and beneficial, and has laid out the path to be followed in future, she added.