About the project

In partnership with YWCA Bangladesh we are helping young men and women lead healthier lives and access better economic opportunities in 4 districts in Bangladesh.

The project will support nearly 5000 young men and women aged 15-24 to make positive and informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health, empowering women to delay first pregnancies and take longer breaks in between births.

The country’s history

A densely populated nation that is home to around 180 million, Bangladesh remains one of the poorest countries in the world. 40% of the population live on less than £0.95 a day. Those in employment are not much better off, with 75% of the workforce living on less than £1.50 a day. The country is also classified as a fragile state and is one of the most disaster-affected areas in the world, with extreme weather such as floods and droughts affecting around 10 million people yearly.

Poor health is another severe problem, including sexual and reproductive health. Bangladesh has a high level of teenage pregnancies, with around one-third of females in the country aged 15-19 either mothers or pregnant. Maternal death is not uncommon. Around 5,200 mothers die each year due to pregnancy-related issues. Although some progress has been made in recent years, there are still many unmet needs across the population in terms of family planning and antenatal care.

How are we helping?

We are working with YWCA Bangladesh with support from UK Aid and DFID to deliver a project called “Improving the sexual and reproductive health and resilience of young people, in particular of vulnerable young women, in four districts of Bangladesh”.

The project has been running since 2016 and has been aimed at equipping young people with skills and knowledge to improve their sexual reproductive health and rights. This has included issues such as gender based violence (GBV), the impact of child marriages and other gender-related issues.

Young people are taught about sexual reproductive health and issues including GBV using a range of methods including workshops, theatre, dance and song. Learning is extended to schools, where Schools Health Clubs use trained teachers to engage with students about changes in adolescence, menstrual hygiene, the impact of early marriage and GBV. We are also training young people in advocacy so that they have the skills to communicate with decision makers in their communities to raise concerns and defend their rights.

We are also supporting young women to earn an independent income through business and life skills training. Women will be supported to create small businesses, access savings funds and write business plans.

In addition to this, training and support is given to health providers in the community so that they are better equipped to deliver services to young people, particularly vulnerable young women. Health care centres are supported in accessing basic equipment and a “youth corner” will be established, where a trained counsellor can advise young people and refer them to different specialists when needed.

UK Aid logo

What do we hope to achieve?

  • 1,200 adults, young people and children learning about sexual reproductive health and the effects of GBV
  • 330 young women accessing savings funds and health funds in their communities
  • 188 health care professionals receiving training to provide a more youth-friendly service
  • 40 young people trained in advocacy so that they can help raise concerns around sexual and reproductive health and rights
Bangladesh women in a group

Support our work in Bangladesh!

Donate now