Nari Uddug Kendra initiated the programmes in 1996 in Pakundia Thana of Kishoreganj district. The name of the project was changed to “Women Empowerment, Gender Awareness & Poverty Alleviation” from October 2000. The main objectives of this programme are to enhance rural women’s leadership on attaining gender equality, human rights, political awareness and foster personal and economic empowerment,
Although women constitute half of the country’s population, patriarchy persists in every sphere of life; gender discrimination and harassment still prevail. Opportunity for women to actively engage in decision making remain limited in all spheres: the home, community, workplace and political arenas. They are tortured, left and divorced without good reasons. NUK has initiated gender and human rights education for women and their male counterparts, family health and income generating activities through micro financing for this vulnerable group of women and their families.
This project, from the very beginning, has been functioning to improve the standard of living by ensuring regular income for both man and woman under joint leadership. The project also launched motivational campaign programs to raise their level of confidence, unity, self-esteem and spirit towards development.
The project helps in bringing distressed and poor women and unemployed youth under different programs including training and self-employment. It has also initiated rural based small-scale industry and collective efforts of production. It motivates and facilitates rural poor women to form their own organization and solidarity group development for women to act collectively against all discrimination and prevention of violence against women or any other forms of discrimination in the family and society at large. There is immense opportunity for the rural poor women to put their total commitment and all out efforts in these programs. The project design is based on the belief that women would apply their efficiency and establish ownership in earned assets. They would be able to create opportunity of increasing income once they have the economic base. Since poverty alleviation is possible through proper use of the latent power in women, NUK has extended all out efforts to socio-economic development of woman by helping to create leadership and establishing small enterprises for them.
Aimed at promoting gender and human rights situation and economic empowerment of rural women leading to their overall socio-economic upliftment of their families and society as a whole.
To create awareness among the poor women and unemployed youth and make them self-reliant.
To make women self-reliant and assist in their empowerment by creating employment opportunities.
To safeguard the poor from oppression of rural moneylenders.
To remove unemployment by establishing profitable projects with the capital raised through savings and assist in establishing profitable income earning projects with the capital of skilled members.
To make woman members self-reliant and improve their existing socio-economic condition by raising their own capital from income of the project.
To build up confidence among the women so that they can come forward to work in collective efforts with men and assist them to undertake any kind of project.
To free women from confinement of homes and make them face the realities of life outside the house.
To make woman self-reliant and free them from the curse of dowry, divorce, early marriage, polygamous husband, etc.
To create employment for female and male youths by providing them with vocational trainings.
To literate the adults.
To provide local people with heath care, make them aware about family planning and assist them in taking preventive measures.
Woman constitutes about 49 percent of the population and Bangladesh is one of the seven countries where the number of men exceeds the number of women. Though women constitute half of the population, they bear disproportionately larger share of the country’s poverty and hold much lower status than their male counterpart in every sphere of life. A statistical indicator of the status and progress in human development in Bangladesh is still point to unacceptable high level of deprivation and discrimination against women. Oppressive and repressive age-old traditions, unquestioned social norms, unchallenged economic dependence and financial insecurity, high illiteracy and ignorance and invisibility of women in private and public life keep women out of balance share within families, societies, and in the overall development process of the country.
The socio-institutional relationship is male dominated in which the position of women in family is subordinated, dependent, exclusively relegated tot he role of nurturing. Gender inequality is manifested through socio-economic differences and by the stratification of authority and assets between sexes through socialization process sanctioned by the stratification of society. The partilocal residentship and matrilineal kinship culture places women as wives, daughter and mother in an inferior and dependent position that are a denial
of equal opportunity in every sphere of life. Moreover, the class and gender segregated society, religious imposition in the form of restricted mobility outside home forced women’s seclusion from public places often keep them enriched of access to all development process. As such women in Bangladesh remain systematically unable to safeguarding their needs and interests.
Gender and Human rights situation:
The Constitution of Bangladesh clearly upholds the principle of equality between men and women and forbids discrimination against women. However, despite the provisions, in general women enjoy minority status being under the protection of permanent cycle of male guardianships. Women are systematically discriminated in terms of food intake, access to education, health, employment, freedom of choose and choice of marriage, divorce, reproductive rights and rights to control inheritances and sharing other assets, property and resources distribution.
Gender based violence is perpetrated at family, society and other level in many forms including wife battering, rape, murder trafficking and forced prostitution, molestation and sexual harassment. While the physical dimension of gender violence may be the most readily identifiable, the psychological abuse, the deprivation of resources, co modification of women’s body through trafficking and forced prostitution is also an important dimension of women’s human rights violation are increasingly existing.
Current Challenges :
Despite advances for women in Bangladesh over the last three decades, patriarchy persists and gender discrimination and harassment still prevail. Opportunities for women to actively engage in decision making remain limited in all spheres: the home, community, workplace and other public places.
Women’s Organization Building;
Capacity Building on Gender and Human Rights;
Gender and Family Peace Building Training for male Counterparts;
Credit and Women’s entrepreneurship development;
Revolving Loan fund : Micro-Credit and family Based income generation programme
Credit disbursement for self-employment through personal initiatives;
Credit disbursement for establishing projects through collective initiatives.
Housing for Rural Poor and Homeless Women:
NUK imitated a new component under this project “Safe Housing for Rural Poor and Homeless Women”. Under the component NUK loaned Tk. 47, 5000 from Bangladesh Bank and distributed the money equally among 200 destitute homeless women, residence of Kishoreganj District. The money is to be repaid with a service charge of 5% in 10 years. The 200 women and their family members ownerships of these houses, now enjoy enhance social and economic status and security and their respective communities.
Self-help Employment Generation
Goat rearing is one of the small components of NUK under Poverty Alleviation and Family Development Project. To serve the goat rearing activities the 150 beneficiaries had been selected and then completed a two days training on goat rearing. After completion of the training Tk. 20,00,000/= (Twenty lack) which were received from Basic Bank as loan were disbursed on goat rearing loan among 105 beneficiaries during the period of July-05 to Nov.-05. After getting the loan all of beneficiaries purchased about 5-8 goats and are getting profit by selling milk, small goat and repayment of loan installment were done for NUK from their profit. In the reporting year (July-05 to June-06) total recovery of goat rearing loan is Tk. 10,89,617/=