Women and Girls Lead – Bangladesh set out to raise awareness of human rights and gender issues among Bangladeshi youth. Their main objectives: reducing gender-based violence and promoting gender equality.
In August 2015, Women and Girls Lead Kenya launched the Women in the Red Leadership Awards, putting out a call for nominations to partners in 27 counties across the country. elected from over 70 nominations, the finalists varied from 14-year-old peer educator and reproductive health advocate Serah Mwakali Mulwa, to 53-year-old Beatrice Kimani, a peace mobilizer and advocate in Burnt Forest, risking her life to take a stand against ethnic conflict.
On October 11th 2015 in Gangni, Meherpur, two thousands students, parents and teachers took an oath against child marriage and to support girls education on the occasion of International Day of the Girl.
On September 9th, Women and Girls Lead Global and our partners ITVS, Ford Foundation, USAID and CARE hosted a Global Gender Gap Challenge at the gorgeous GitHub headquarters. The goal of the event was to create new design and ideas that will transform the lives of women and girls.
Thousands of young girls wrote passionate letters declaring their right to stay in school and out of child marriage to commemorate National Girl Child Day in Bangladesh this year. The Youth Summit and Letter Festival – organized by Women and Girls Lead Global, National Girl Child Advocacy Forum and Youth Ending Hunger-Naogaon – called on girls to write open letters to their parents, telling them why they didn’t want to marry young. Over 3,000 girls from 53 different schools in Bangladesh participated, sharing their desire for freedom and their disappointment that the law banning child marriage for girls under 16 is not being consistently upheld.
Bhagwat Thorat pulled each of his three daughters out of school when they reached puberty, fearful that if he waited too long to find them husbands they would have fewer prospects, that they would become victims to sexual violence, or if nothing else, that his investment in their education would end up benefitting the husband’s family and not his own.
Sufiya Kuhtan, of Tala Upazila, Bangladesh, became a child bride when she was only 13. By 14, she had already become a mother. When her husband, the only earning member of the family, fell ill several years ago, Sufiya had to overcome tremendous financial hardship to provide for her daughter Selina’s education and give her a better and more secure future. Their dream? That Selina will become a doctor.