Happy International Women’s Day! – What DCI is doing to help women in Bangladesh…

mothers-iga-groupEach year on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated throughout the world. To mark this important day, DCI would like to draw attention to the significance of women’s issues in our mission of protecting child rights and eliminating poverty. We also want to share with you seven ways that DCI is empowering women.
DCI believes women are central actors in the struggle against child poverty and exploitation. As mothers, women tend to best understand the needs of families and be most committed to ensuring the wellbeing of their children. Creating economic and educational opportunities for women helps families to support themselves and prevents children from entering into child labor. Overall, addressing the plight of women in developing countries serves to orient societies toward more compassionate and family-centered governance. As women continue to achieve greater representation in influential sectors of society, they will help bring the cause of child rights to the forefront and ensure that the needs of the world’s children are no longer ignored.

For these reasons and more, DCI places special attention on empowering women and girls in all of its activities. Here are some of the ways we are making a difference:

DCI recognizes the critical role of women’s health and women’s rights in protecting children. That’s why our urban health clinic in the Kallyanpur slum of Dhaka city is heavily focused on providing pre-natal and post-natal healthcare to mothers residing in the slum, as well as contraception and family planning services.
We have created income-generating groups for mothers in our rural project areas, to help them support their families and achieve economic independence. With the assistance of DCI, mothers participating in the groups pool resources and receive small zero-interest loans, which are then used to invest in income-generating activities. Profits from these activities are reinvested in the income pool, which continues to grow and help more women.
In accordance with our firm belief in gender equality and the crucial role education plays in protecting women’s rights, DCI provides scholarships to academically gifted girls in all of its project areas who would otherwise be unable to continue their education.
Our Sun Child Home for orphans has brought 30 girls away from a life of begging and exploitation on the streets of Dhaka city. These bright young girls are now receiving full support, are enrolled in school (and receiving excellent marks!), and benefit from additional tutoring support at home to ensure their academic parity with other girls their age. The approach of DCI’s Orphan Support Program is to do everything necessary for the girls to become strong, competent, and independent future leaders.
We employ women as tutors in all of our project areas, thus improving the quality of education offered to the children and giving economic opportunity to qualified women at the same time.
Women are highly represented in DCI’s Bangladesh program staff. Our Sun Child Home for orphan girls is staffed entirely by women, and our head office in Dhaka includes numerous women, including our Chief Program Coordinator.
We have established a small day care center in Kallyanpur slum of Dhaka city for poor working mothers, with the goal that mothers can get the opportunity to work and become independent. We also started to provide life skill training at this center to help the mothers become more independent.
In addition, our team is Bangladesh is holding a special rally and parade to celebrate International Women’s Day. DCI-Bangladesh staff and members of other supporting organizations will take part in the celebration.

From all of us at DCI, we wish you a happy International Women’s Day and invite you to join us in our efforts. Alone our power is small, but together we can make great strides in creating a more just world for women and children. Please join our network. Together we will be a powerful voice against child labor, hunger, poverty and blindness. Thank you very much for your support!