Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at Society level (GEWESL)

OWDEB is working for vulnerability of disadvantaged communities specially women from exploitation and social injustice and participation of vulnerable stakeholders   to protect violence against women and corruption for a gender friendly environment. The organization has been continuing its work since 2005 by the direct support of Diakonia  raising the gender sensitivity of the community as a whole. The project “Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at Society Level” also kept a provision of People’s Theatre e.g. cultural programs including drama with message for awareness building, as the previous experience about this kind of intervention proved as very efficient though OWDEB. The project has build awareness on primary and reproductive healthcare among the community, especially the women.

Target/Working Area of the Project :

District Upazilla/ Thana No. of Union/Ward No. of Villages
Chittagong Chandanaish (rural) 04 union 40
Banshkhali (rural) Koukhali 02 union 10
Chittagong City Corporation 05 wards n/a
Total = 01 03 11 50 villages

Rights holders (direct) : 9161 Person
(indirect) : 25000 Person

The Primary Rights Holders:
– 7762 Women and their family related with agro-based production of the age group of 18 – 50 years and living in Project areas ( rural ) Chittagong are the Primary stakeholders.

The Secondary Rights Holders:
– Male members of stakeholders family, Local power structure, Law – enforcing authorities, local clubs and NGOs, Journalists and rural civil societies, Related GO, OWDEB including EC /GC members, DIAKONIA and Partners .

Where interaction with the stakeholders / group members are as follows

  • Existing group members (all adult: 80% poor-deprived women and 20% men of different professions):
  • Existing Gender Forum members (all adult women-men);
  • Children both inside and outside stakeholders group;
  • Adolescent girl:   both inside and outside stakeholders group;
  • Secondary level school and college boys and girls and Teachers, SMC
  • Social Entrepreneurs; Women Activists, Cultural groups
  • Elected members of Local Government & GOB

The rights holders regularly attend the programs of OWDEB and they share their rights and roles as well. They also execute their role reinforced with their knowledge and supported by the OWDEB staff involved in their projects.

All these activities enhanced the capacity of community people for a fundamental shift in social attitude for a gender sensitive just society . Here Priority for poor women is followed through a continuous flow of action from 2005 with the support DIAKONIA.

Summary of Results/Achievements:
Summary of major Results/Achievements highlights: 1st Jan 2013 – 31st Dec 2013

The Project “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at Society level” is a vital projects of OWDEB, funded by Diakonia has been assisting disadvantaged women in Chittagong District for both rural and urban area of Bangladesh keeping a goal for a poverty free democratic society from 2005 .

From the month of January 2013 up to 31st Dec, 2013 through implementation of this   project, OWDEB has taken many initiatives such as
a. Empowerment of women through trainings for the group leaders – members
b. Gender Issue based regular meetings
c. Counseling and legal supports for women victims
d. ADR at community level for peaceful women friendly environment
e. Trainings on different socio-political, climate issues & RTI
f. Primary health care for mother and children
g. Pre school for hard core poor children for mainstreaming
h. Cultural activities through theatre for development –TFD
i. Rights based orientation at local High Schools and College student’s level
j. Networking with GO, NGO,CBO and Local Govt. with other institutions

Major highlighted works of   12 months of 2013 :

1st January 2013 – 31st December 2013

1. Grass root people now is   working as peer educator for awareness raising on gender sensitivity, action plan has been prepared to promote more Change Maker at society level, now OWDEB are working with at least 40 volunteer as field level of various profession age limit from 20 to 54 also at the end of 2013.

2. Cultural activities including TFD (Theatre for Development) as an awareness raising tools for mass, rather than only conversation method. One Drama against eve teasing – 05 shows / months – proved its effectiveness at community and now eve teasing is a past history .

3. Nari Jogajog Kendra, a platform of 20 Women is a active local group working for discrimination against women in Dec, 2013 . A base work is organized through 06 Meetings & 02 Training on Gender/ Leadership/RTI in this year. They prepared their action plan and implemented the same to raise the voice against VAW and partner UTSA joined with OWDEB to make it a sustainable one .

4. OWDEB Counseling and ADR – Salish system in favor of victims played its role in such way , abuser are now afraid   of total Salish System. 68 deprived women took these support up to Dec,2013. 02 Deprived women Received 3,68,634.00 taka as Denmohore,   Now they can protest against any injustice in a quick way rather than before .Three Legal cases are running now.

5. Staff capacity enhancement strategy in various way was maintained through 12 coordination meeting ,10 Training for 15 staffs at the end of Dec, 2013. One Training on Project briefing and implementation strategy , another training on monitoring & reporting plan for all staffs of the project was organized by an external expert, which helped all staffs to be more confident and action oriented.

6. OWDEB is the active member of Chandanaish Thana Women and Child Abuse Protection Committee (Govt. Committee), one govt. program against eve teasing was held in OWDEB training space of Chandanaish where max. govt. officer of Chandanaish Thana participated here . OWDEB is the member of TIB from 2006 and this year it played the role of conveynor to conduct the discussion workshop on Survey report of corruption of Chittagong School & college text board. This has impact on Education Policy also through OWDEB networking work with Text Board of Chittagong.

7. Women now go to Police station, Govt. health office, TNO office and their children’s school where in previous they were afraid about them to complain any misconduct. 47 women leaders took steps against various discriminations.

8. OWDEB in 2013 has given 64 legal aid support in Chittagong City Corporation(CCC) & Chandanaish (rural) areas also by linkage building with District BAR Association, as Project work extended in CCC working area also.
9. Adolescent / youth groups are active force from 2005 in Urban & Rural area against abusing of Child especially girls as eve teasing or such type of negative action till now.

10. Guardian group/couple group / students – teachers forum now play effective role for Girls – Child protection and against also drugs, abusing and trafficking , know about the importance of birth, marriage registration and UP cooperate about this procedure.

11. 05 Ward commissioner/ 04 Chairman /24 Community Development Forum are supportive and listened the complains of OWDEB’s project area people and acts for justice for women victim first. This wok related with Human rights protection. Local Human Resources are created at community level. Local UP allocated a part of Budget to solve the problems of local poor women victim.

12. Target area people now know about HIV/AIDS and its cause and some sort of social remedy. Trained people are disseminating their earned knowledge to others as shadow peer educator. 277 women-men and 238 children received primary treatment through OWDEB health support .They joined with OWDEB to campaign against drug and smoking.

13. Farmers group are more conscious about their land rights and agro –based cultivation system and women farmer raised their voice a little bit as a professional worker.

14. People of Project areas now want to know about climate change, global warming and the situation of Bangladesh where it did not matter to them previously.

15. OWDEB through its activities of TFD Show/orientation /counseling are always with the community. Now the rights holders (community people) have been conscious day by day against dowry and early marriage and safe migration. They are active about both registration – birth and marriage. Now they along with some local NGO like OWDEB and UNO and LG of Chandanaish are active to protect violence against women and children.

16. APM with all Bangladesh Diakonia’s Partners at Dhaka in May, 2013 opened a new way of sharing about the diversification work for the development of different parts of Bangladesh. For OWDEB’s staffs it was a good learning to develop their capacity.

17. 225 youths have taken 09 training on life skill related also gender and against domestic violence.

18. A video documentation is on process to document overall project activities of OWDEB.

19. An evaluation has been driven on 03 years project progress by an external evaluator.

To evaluate whether the interventions were in track and were likely to reach the objectives with particular reference to the following criteria’s : effectiveness, impact, relevance, sustainability and efficiency. It will help to design the future program plan more efficiently.

20. Workshop on Complain & Responsive Mechanism for OWDEB & Net Work Partner was conducted in 2013. OWDEB management teams have strongly relation buildup with stake holder and address their problem under the project activities and program. The staffs have also taken more accountability for their duties and responsibility. They also closely shared their problem with OWDEB management team. The management have given decision or taken action of their problem by a group formation where investigated problem if needed. Total procedure will promote more accountable democratic environment overall.

21. Exchange with Journalists about project activities & achievements to spread the activities in total project area & out of the area was anice initiative of OWDEB in 2013. By this sharing meeting the journalist, GO, NGO & stakeholders shared knowledge and gave suggestion to work closely with all sectors to propagate OWDEB’s activities in several area.

22.Workshop on gender policy revised and upgrade Gender Policy according to the need of current circumstances. Now all of the staff are very conscious about gender Equity.

Initiatives taken for these outcomes through project activities as Training / Orientation/ meeting for stakeholders of different level of society on giving priorities stated issued below:

  • Human rights and good governance
  • Gender & Justice
  • Leadership training at rural /urban area
  • Democracy and our constitution
  • Training on Sexual health & Reproductive health /Life Skill
  • Training on RTI
  • Climate change and the situation of Bangladesh
  • Campaign against eve teasing and sexual Harassment
  • Youth training

Besides, OWDEB organized Orientation on Human Rights and Paralegal training and ADR based on Laws are given to 15 staffs of OWDEB by external resource persons as the procedure of Staff development to conduct the project activities efficiently.