Introduction of the organisation
BNPS is an activist women organization has been working since 1986 on realizing rights of the marginalized focusing on vulnerable girls and women, ethnic and religious minorities and other excluded communities. The organization is registered with the Directorate of Women Affairs (Registration No. MBP-465/86 Dated 24.06.86) and NGO Affairs Bureau of Government of Bangladesh (Registration No. 271; Date: 29.09.1988 and renewed on 29.09.2018 until 28.09.2028. We strive to develop women agency at the grass-roots and contribute bringing their voices to national, regional and international level. We take an active role in national, regional and international networks and have special membership status in the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC.
Our Vision: A society free from all sorts of discrimination, where nobody is left behind.
Mission: Engaging women to discover their potential as change agent and driving force for social transformation.
BNPS believes in the principles of: Non-discrimination; Diversity; and Secularism.
Strategic Priority Areas: Developing women’s agency, making education gender sensitive, Advocating and researching for policy reforms, Engaging in civic actions
BNPS initiatives in response to COVID-19
Response to COVID 19, considering the context and prevention of GBV, the following intervention/activities have been taken among the youths, CBO leaders, women and girls in the working areas:
- Oriented staff, youth volunteers, CBO leaders (male & female), women and girls on GBV situation due to COVID 19;
- Shared the government hotline numbers to the staff, youths, CBO leaders, women and girls to make them equipped on complaining against GBV, linking for psycho-social support and treatment;
- Provided online counselling support to the victims of GBV.
- Sensitized family members & couples through sharing the messages on the burden of unpaid care work of women and necessity of equal sharing of household chores;
- The female volunteers advised pregnant and lactating mothers on the prevention and importance of maintaining personal hygiene;
- Created a fund by community volunteers of BNPS to support pregnant GBV victims for safe delivery; and
- BNPS women group members formed human chains maintaining safety protocol to protest rape and murder cases.
BNPS emergency response to COVID-19
Table of achievement:
|District||8||Dhaka, Netrakona, Mymensingh, Chattogram, Bandarban, Khagrachori, Kishoreganj and Habiganj|
|City Corporation||4||Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation, Chattogram City Corporation, Mymensingh City Corporation|
|Municipality||2||Netrakona Municipality and Patiya Municipality|
|Upazila||12||Netrakona Sadar, Barhatta, Mohanganj, Mymensingh Sadar, Patiya, Sandwip, Kishoreganj Sadar, Pakundia, Chunarughat, Madhabpur, Khagrachari Sadar and Bandarban Sadar|
|Area covered by BNPS emergency response|
|Type of interventions||District||Upazila||City Corporation/ Municipality||Wards||Unions||Village/Mohalla|
|Food and hygiene kits distribution by BNPS using donor’s fund.||6||10||4 CC & 1 Municipality||19||29||135|
|Food and sanitizing materials distribution by BNPS organized group’s fund||2||2||2 CC & 1 Municipality||3||3||24|
|Food and sanitizing materials distribution by BNPS organized groups using fund collected by themselves from different sources||5||7||2 CC & 1 Municipality||12||28||134|
|Total||6||10||4 CC & 2 Municipality||19||29||179|
|Information dissemination and others initiatives by BNPS||3||8||3 CC & 1 Municipality||14||2||24|
|Grand total||8||12||4 CC & 2 Municipality||19||29||179|
|Type of awareness campaign and household coverage|
|District||Upazila/City Corporation||Using loudspeaker||Individual communication||Mobile phone communication||Leaflet Distribution|
|Dhaka||DNCC and DSCC||1,200||550||500|
|Total population covered|
|Types of interventions||Household||Recipient|
|Food and hygiene kits distribution by BNPS using donor’s fund||3183||13787|
|Food and sanitizing materials distribution by BNPS organized groups own fund||1769||7502|
|Food and sanitizing materials distribution by BNPS organized groups using fund collected from different sources.||7048||29602|
|Information dissemination and others initiatives by BNPS||189550||793070|
Challenges faced with COVID-19
- Some cases, perpetrators switched off his/their phone and moved to another area
- Maintaining physical distance is impossible in mass gathering places
- Political influences sometimes affected negatively
- Youths, CBO leaders (Male & Female) continuously observed and follow up with the perpetuator’s families and neighbours as well as police station and other related department.
- Sensitized/ Counseling the Family Members of perpetuators regarding Laws and punishment.
- Organized human chain to maintain physical distance.
Differently to overcome these challenges/ innovation
- Sensitized and engaged the CBO leaders, Local Leaders, Administration, CSO and Youth Club etc and Presentation on GBV and Dimensions during Covid-19 Outbreak
- Sensitize Women leaders on How to Manage Conflict Regulation of GBV Situation during COVID-19.
- Distribute food and Non-food item (Mask, Soap, sanitary napkin etc.) to the most venerable poor women, specially challenge people during the COVID-19
- Linkage with Union Parishad and Upazilla Parishad, UNO office and service providers to get support and alternative livelihood, loans during the COVID-19
- Counselling the victims of GVB during the COVID-19
The role, events and process of localization to effectively response in this pandemic
- Women group, youth volunteers, CBO leader resolved 14 domestic violence case successfully by Counselling the perpetuators and Family Members of perpetuators.
- They stopped 5 early marriage cases with the engagement of local government and local authorities.
- They also engaged local government and local authorities successfully to ensure arresting of rape case perpetrators.
Continuous communication and lobbying with the government official, local government and police station.
- Lobbying to Create Option with Decision Makers for Psycho-Social Support Corner at Hospital/Clinic at Sub-district and Union Level
- Advocacy and Negotiation with Decision Makers to Create Alternative Livelihood for women/ Women Headed Earning Households by Providing Trainings and Loans etc with Simple Conditions.
COVID-19 has further widened inequality in resource holding among the people. This could promote violence and anarchy in the society. A recent study (PPRC, BIGD-August 2020) found 15% people could not afford to have 3 meals in a day, new poor has contributed to doubling the pre COVID figures that is 40.2% of the total 165 million people and income of women headed households reduced by 80%. Unemployment rate has increased from 9% to 25%, 2.5 million people already lost their jobs and around 10 million are at risk of losing work opportunities, most of them are from informal sector and majority of them are women. If the situation is unaddressed, there will be tremendous negative effect on social and economic sector in the country.
In Bangladesh, there is reverse migration of poor people from urban to rural areas because of higher living costs in the cities and closing of income earning opportunities. Development activities focused on urban centers which has created serious imbalance of job opportunities as a result, rural areas do not have capacity to absorb additional labour force. But the urban informal workers, professionals, returnee expatriates converging on ill prepared villages
- It is observed that, though women and girls are worst victims in crisis situation, their problems are ignored and remain outside of response mechanism. Therefore, inclusion of gender perspective should be ensured.
Website link of the organisation