Bangladesh is the world’s most densely populated country; it is also one of the poorest. Almost half the population live on less than US$1.25 a day. 87% of Bangladeshi married women have been physically or sexually abused by their husbands. It also has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world – 66% of women aged 20-24 are married before the age of 18. You can change this for young women like Mitali.
Mitali was born into a patriarchal society, where women suffer discrimination and inequality daily. They are often excluded from making decisions in the home and denied access to skills training and work opportunities.
But this is changing for Mitali and other young women in her community. With the help of Y Care International’s business management and gender activist training, these young women are taking their futures into their own hands.
Mitali is now a peer educator. She is trained on sexual reproductive, child marriage and violence against women so that she can educate and protect other community members. She is also able to provide counselling and support for survivors of gender based violence.
Initially she encountered a lot of resistance from the local community, who told her young girls shouldn’t be talking about such issues and should be married before they are 18. Now attitudes have started to change, with parents and guardians starting to see the value of educating their female children rather than marrying them off quickly.
Mitali now wants to study for a masters degree and get a good job; what was once a dream may just become a reality.
Mitali has made the best of the opportunity given to her, but there is still work to be done to help some of the most vulnerable young women in societies all around the world. Could you give an opportunity like this to another young person like Mitali? Please give what you can today.