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Project information

Empowering Women in Bangladesh

Bangladesh continues to experience high levels of poverty with young women being especially vulnerable. We work with the YWCA to improve maternal health and create opportunities for decent work through vocational training.

January 2016 - February 2019

Charity information: Y Care International

Y Care International logo
  • Need


    Bangladesh has a population of 157 million, with 66% of women married before 18. The birth rate amongst adolescents is exceptionally high. A lack of education in women’s health, and limited resources for health professionals, make it difficult for women to receive the health care they need. In rural locations, poverty, gender inequality and poor health are more extreme; early childbearing is common and women are less likely to have access to maternal and reproductive health services.


    Our project will work with vulnerable young women and men (aged 15-24) across 22 rural villages in Bangladesh. Young people will be trained as peer educators, who will then encourage other children and young people to adopt healthier practices with regards to their sexual and reproductive health (for example, using contraception). The peer educators will teach issues like the importance of birth spacing in maternal health, reducing the health risks to both mother and child.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Young women and men will have increased knowledge of sexual reproductive health
    issues and services


    » Training 70 young peer educators (50 women, 20 men) on safe contraceptive practices. Using the “pass it on” approach they will then train others.

    What success will look like

    Using the “pass it on” approach we will reach 840 young woman & men in total.

    Aim 2

    Access to healthcare is improved. Medical professionals can deliver sexual reproductive health care


    » Training 240 local health workers on gender sensitive engagement with young women
    » Establishing a healthcare fund – to pay for transport, consultation & medicine costs for 320 vulnerable young women
    » Training 240 additional young women on savings group, healthcare funds and enterprise
    » Community outreach through; shows, workshops & courtyard sessions, to teach the communities on vital healthcare issues.

    What success will look like

    80% of young women and men will report their
    health providers showed respect toward them on their most recent visit for sexual and reproductive

  • Impact


    Training young people as peer educators will
    encourage children and young people to adopt
    healthier practices. The peer educators will teach issues like the importance of birth spacing in
    maternal health, reducing the health risks to both mother and child. They’ll also teach safe
    contraceptive practices, helping the prevention of sickness by reducing the spread of HIV and other
    sexually transmitted diseases.


    The project design was built on lessons learnt and a Y Care International/YWCA needs assessment, consulting: 200 vulnerable young people, aged 14-30, of whom 142 (71%) were young women and 58 were young men, 5 community leaders , 5 Civil Society Organisation representatives, local authority representatives, a community healthcare provider and family welfare assistant and YWCA staff in 21 peri-urban and rural communities across Barisal, Comilla, Dinajpur, Jessore, and Pabna districts.


    Our staff will visit Bangladesh to assess progress,
    provide support and address challenges. We will then update donors either by letter or email, as well as provide regular updates via social media and videos such as facebook live and skype.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £27,385

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,788 Gender Activists Workshops Provide community awareness workshops and deliver campaigns on women's rights, violence and marriage
      £12,554 Advocacy Training Establish groups and facilitate engagement between women and decision makers
      £2,434 Life skills training Provide vocational training, small business management training and post training support
      £3,120 Monitoring and evaluation Monitoring and evaluation
      £2,489 Admin and support Office costs and project management support
  • Background


    Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world, with a population of 157 million (World Bank). It also has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world, with 66% of women married before 18. This greatly impacts on early childbearing; the birth rate amongst adolescents currently stands at 79 per 1,000 women, in comparison to 2 in Switzerland (World Bank).

    This project will be carried out in rural locations where poverty, gender inequality and poor health are more extreme.


    Young people who benefit from our project
    will be from the poorest 10% of the population, including vulnerable groups such as gender based violence survivors, teenage mothers, orphans and disabled people. These will be identified through community volunteers, local healthcare workers, and schools with the most vulnerable young people
    being given priority.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The project is informed by 3 decades of YCI experience working with vulnerable young women and men. Evidence shows this can improve family planning outcomes. Men have greater decision making power over household matters, including health care, yet family planning programmes generally target women. In this regard, Y Care International is different by involving both genders.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Purabi Talukder

    Project Manager

    Supti Dibra

    Monitoring and Evaluation officer

    Merina Afrose

    Project Officer in Kumila

    Krishna Kaberi Halder

    Project Officer in Barishal


It will cost just £83.34 to empower one hard-to-reach woman in rural Bangladesh.