Biplob’s Story – Gender equality breaks the poverty cycle
12th February 2019
Biplob has been a part of Y Care International’s project in Bangladesh since April 2016, acting as a gender activist in his rural community. The project aimed to educate young people about gender equality and highlight the very real dangers of early marriage and sexual reproductive health. Here’s Biplob shares his experiences and what he’s learnt as part of the project:
“My name is Biplob and I have been a Gender Activist with the project since April 2016. I live in a very marginalised community in a remote area of Pabna district, Bangladesh.
I took part in some introductory training at the beginning of the project and, if I’m honest, I didn’t think it was going to be good! But, during the half day of training, the subject was about early marriages. In my family, two of my sisters were forced to get married when they were very young. One of them got pregnant and had lots of problems. I didn’t know who I could talk about this with.
I was very surprised that the YWCA wanted to discuss, talk and tackle the problem of early marriages and its negative effects to the poverty cycle.
It was very challenging to talk with my family about these issues as they thought that I was too young and didn’t understand why I was talking about these issues. I said, “It is difficult to stop early marriages but we have to try”. I would like to know more about early marriages and to develop a strategy to communicate better with community members who are not educated. They don’t always take me seriously because they think I am too young.
We will continue with activities and meetings after the project but for big problems, we will need more help.”
Y Care International’s project in Bangladesh has supported nearly 5000 young men and women to lead healthier lives by learning about sexual education health and rights. The project is in partnership with YWCA Bangladesh and supports vulnerable young women in particular through group meetings, peer to peer conversation and schools clubs. The sessions focus on education of sexual reproductive health, gender-based violence, the impact of child marriage, and other gender-related issues.