Bangladesh has an extreme child malnutrition rate.
After a devastating famine in 1974, there was an enormous flow of aid to Bangladesh that was required to sustain the country. Reliance on foreign aid has now created a mindset of dependancy for the government and people of Bangladesh.
Twenty-four million people live below the poverty line, the majority of which are women and children. A major factor that contributes to this is the severe subjugation of women and girls that exists in Bangladesh. Discrimination starts right at birth as the birth of a boy is favoured. Girls are breast-fed for weeks less than boys. They are fed least and last in the family. Malnourished girls are then married off young and give birth to malnourished babies. The cycle continues.
How are we breaking this cycle?
Research shows, however, that when women are empowered, all of society benefits. When women have equal rights and earn an income, they reinvest that in things like health, nutrition and education for their families. This means that they are empowering themselves and generations to come to end their own hunger.
The Hunger Project has created initiatives that break the cycle of discrimination. We train women and men as Animators (local volunteer leaders) who are deeply engaged in bringing about real and lasting change across Bangladesh. We work at a grassroots level in select rural areas to deliver training and workshops. This includes Women’s Leadership training that provides intensive education in gender equality and legal/reproductive rights to at least two women per village.
These women then become a resource to all the women in their village, launching campaigns to stop domestic violence and child marriage for good, and educating others to transform their communities so women and girls can flourish.