Bangladesh | ActionAid UK

Bangladesh

BD
  • 40
    More than 40% of women had their first experience of forced sex aged 14 or below.1
  • 100
    In 2014, 2.8 million people were affected by flash flooding. 150,000 people's homes were destroyed.2
  • 40
    Over 40% of girls in Bangladesh are married by their 15th birthday.3

A busy slum beside a railway in Dhaka, Bangladesh

A busy slum beside a railway in Dhaka - one of many dangerous slums in Bangladesh where girls are particularly vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

Photo: Sharron Lovell/ActionAid

What we do in Bangladesh

ActionAid works in both rural and urban parts of Bangladesh, supporting the most vulnerable women and children to protect themselves from violence, access their right to education, and increase their resilience to the effects of climate change.

Keeping girls safe from harm

Girls in Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable to violence and exploitation, including sexual abuse and harassment, forced marriage, forced labour, and trafficking. We work with 62 partner organisations to help the most vulnerable women and girls.

Our local staff searches the streets of Dhaka to find girls in possible danger and bring them to a safe space at one of our five 'Happy Homes'. Here ActionAid girls can receive healthy food, emotional support, access to education, and life skills. More than 17,000 girls have already been helped.

Through funding from child sponsorship, we also fund child spaces in Dhaka slums where girls and their mothers can come to learn about their legal rights and to gain the confidence to challenge attitudes that allow violence to flourish.

Adapting to climate change

We support women living on the margins of survival to prepare and adapt to climate change. We build flood-proof villages, provide salt-resistant seeds, teach children how to survive in a disaster, and build child-friendly spaces where they can continue their studies when the route to school is flooded. We also help local women’s groups develop innovative farming techniques and campaign for stronger embankments.

Improving workers' rights

Through training and support, we make people aware of their rights to health care, clean water, education, and safe working conditions. We support nearly 200,000 female workers in garment factories around the country, by teaching them about labour laws and giving them the confidence and skills to stand up to their managers and demand their rights.

Footnotes

Top image: Taniya, 11, with her friends at one of five ActionAid funded 'Happy Homes' which help girls off the streets, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. G.M.B. Akash/Panos/ActionAid