Bangladesh, suffering from extensive corruption, disorder and political violence is one of the poorest countries in the world. Situated on the world’s biggest river delta, it is also subject to harsh monsoon seasons and floods, which regularly devastate thousands of lives.
Many families live in fear that their homes could be destroyed or washed away by river erosion. Parents can rarely afford basic medical care or school fees for their children, and often have to turn to corrupt money lenders to provide for their children’s needs.
Women living in these increasingly poor conditions are also often oppressed and abused due to cultural perceptions of gender inequality. There is a strong male domination in most areas of life, even within the family home male relations eat first, causing many women and their daughters to be malnourished. Often treated like slaves, they are unable to free themselves or their children from the poverty and injustice that they endure.
The potential of women to learn new skills, run small businesses or lead local community groups has traditionally been dismissed or neglected in Bangladesh. However, we believe that women have a vital role in their families and communities.
Over the last decade, we have been particularly focused on working with women to improve their status and release their potential. Today, our learning and savings groups are empowering over 12,000 women across the flood plains of Bangladesh, to pursue opportunities alongside men and transform their poverty-stricken communities.
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