Counterpart International and Community Advocacy Against Gender-Based Violence in Bangladesh
Meghan Elizabeth Leigh Ellis, Mark D. Franchak, Pengqing Sun
Based on the work and data gathered by Counterpart International, a development agency funded by USAID, this presentation examines efforts to increase community involvement in advocacy against gender-based violence in Bangladesh. This is part of a larger program Counterpart International has implemented since 2018, titled, ‘Promoting Advocacy and Rights’ (PAR) in collaboration with local NGOs. Anchored in the Gender/Women in Development (GID/WID) approach, PAR aims to deepen democratic values within civil society to improve public governance. The presentation will particularly focus on workshops Counterpart had organized to discuss the issue of gender-based violence against Bangladeshi women. Besides, these meetings are also used as an opportunity to train both the men and women on how to advocate against such violence. We are specifically interested in the tools and methods Counterpart uses to measure the success of these training sessions which incorporate both quantitative and qualitative indicators such as meeting attendance, participant feedback, and trainee testimonials etc. Drawing upon our analyses and based on the critical development studies framework, we raise a separate set of evaluative questions in relation to how Counterpart recognizes and acknowledges the unequal access to decision-making power and opportunities between Bangladeshi men and women, the effects of its work on the respective communities, and how Counterpart facilitates, or fails to facilitate, a shift toward equal control between men and women in Bangladesh’s society. Additionally, in incorporating Bangladesh’s historical background, we ask how does the country’s colonial past intersect with the current development work. Lastly, the presentation will provide recommendations on how Counterpart may successfully move forward in its efforts to empower Bangladeshi women.
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
"Counterpart International and Community Advocacy Against Gender-Based Violence in Bangladesh" (2021). Stander Symposium Projects. 2251.