Social rights - Bangladesh

Social rights

Finding solutions together

The Netherlands’ agenda on sensitive issues centers around establishing women’s rights through a.o. prevention of child marriage, bringing attention to early married girls’ issues (i.e. health, education, livelihood), reduction of violence against women and girls, and women economic empowerment.

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Having a separate funding source in Gender has always enabled the Netherlands portfolio in Bangladesh to attend to issues related to gender equality, women rights empowerment, adolescents Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and youth engagement. Currently the Embassy is phasing out programming in SRHR and Gender.

The Netherlands journey with the SRHR sector in Bangladesh started in late 2010. In the period of 2011-2020, the Embassy implemented an extensive portfolio covering different SRHR issues through implementing projects through 32 plus partners inclusive of UNs, INGOs, NGOs government and Private Sectors. With these programmes the Netherlands has invested in issues like comprehensive sexuality education and Gender responsive curriculum, adolescent and youth-friendly services, HIV/AIDs, access to safe abortion (MR/MRM), menstrual hygiene and health, and improved conditions for women working in the RMG sector. To incorporate/reflect the evidence from the field in the national effort, the Embassy contributed to the National Health Sector Programme (HPNSP). One of the many achievements of the Netherlands and its partners is the Adolescents Health Strategy and its costed Action Plan with incorporation of all these in the operation plans of the health sector programme.

At present, our women’s rights and gender equality agenda mainly concentrates on women economic empowerment and female entrepreneurship, system strengthening to address gender-based violence with special emphasis on prevention of early and child marriage along with empowerment of the early-married girls towards productive citizenship. 

The Netherlands has successfully handed over to other partners who will continue to invest in thise important issues for women and girls., In the political dialogue and advocacy, the focus remains on political rights (freedom of expression and assembly), women rights (including child marriage and gender-based violence) and economic empowerment of women. Several SRHR and gender topics are therefore already, and will remain, important elements in our policy dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh.

For more information on this topic, contact the embassy