Empowering Diversity: GIZ Bangladesh initiatives towards gender equality

GIZ Bangladesh showcased gender activities from their different clusters in an online event held on 23 May 2024.

Fatema Begum, Gender Focal Person, Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Development, moderated the event that took off with a welcome speech from Dr Dana de la Fontaine, Cluster Coordinator, Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Development. She gave a heartfelt welcome to all the participants. She said it gave her great pleasure to see that this event came on the heels of the session on the Feminist Development Policy (FDP) which showcased how the projects are implementing the FDP on the ground. She was also pleased to note that the event also marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), observed on 17 May, as well as the upcoming Pride Month from the 1 to 30 June to honour the LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for equal rights.

The welcome speech was followed by the main session of the cluster-wise presentation. The presentation session started with the Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Development Cluster by Ms Franziska Loibl, Project Manager, Regional Office, GIZ Headquarters. She shared how they are planning to implement the Urban Living Lab’s (ULL) to be more inclusive and to have a more participatory approach for women. This was followed by the presentation on Biodiversity by Ms Kashfiya Nawrin, Gender Focal person. She shared their activities around capacity building of women advocates and vision workshop for women from coastal communities. What also came up for discussion was their work in their regional project with India, on local self-help groups for women with a focus on peer-to-peer learning and the development of gender-smart financial instruments for the better livelihood of women in SUNDAR-Bay areas.

The Energy Cluster’s activities were presented by Ms Ananya Rubayat, Gender Focal Person, Energy Cluster. Their activities included the training of Santal women as “Improved Cookstove Doctors” who are now working as freelancers or are associated with Ava (a local NGO). She was delighted to introduce her colleague Ms Puja Saha, Junior Advisor in an energy project, trained by the “Shoktikonna” initiative. This initiative created scope for female engineering graduates to build networks and bridge gaps with potential employers and receive better employment opportunities.

Next from the Governance Cluster, namely the Access to Justice project Ms Shoaiba Rahman, Gender Focal person, shared that theirs is an ongoing GG2 project. They are mainly working on 3 pillars strengthening on legal assistance, gender sensitive dispute resolution mediation and case management. She was happy to share that their programme has already included the Transgenders and Dalits in their activities.

Lastly the Textile Cluster was presented by Mr Steffen Siegle, Gender Focal Person, GIZ Bangladesh and Ms Sarwat Ahmad, Senior Advisor, Textile Cluster. They presented their work around the setting up of the “Ami Nargis (I am Nargis)” community. Ami Nargis is a Facebook page with 24,000 members. They shared a video of a young couple, members of the Ami Nargis community sharing their experiences on how they learnt from each other and became aware of their rights and responsibilities as well as gender equality being a part of this platform. Another video showed how a female garment worker after losing her husband in a tragic accident received support from the Employment Injury Protection (EIS) scheme that entailed a monthly pension for herself and her children.

Overall, the session triggered the possibilities of synergies of many similar gender relevant activities between clusters and projects. The event ended on a satisfying and promising note with the closing remarks from the moderator.


Farah Maysun Khan has written the article

Contact Details

Name: Farah Maysun Khan
Email: farah.khan@giz.de
Posted in Gender Week Blog