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Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Bangladesh, joins CSBR!

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We are excited to welcome Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS) in Bandhu-Logo-2Bangladesh as a new member of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)!

Over the last year, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting more closely and learning from BSWS about their outreach, capacity-building, social organizing and advocacy efforts on issues such as youth sexual health, legal aid & education, as well as sexual and reproductive health rights across Bangladesh.

In October 2015, Shale Ahmed joined CSBR’s panel on “Strengths & Challenges of LGBTI Organizing in Muslim Societies”, a first of its kind session at the ILGA-Asia conference in Taipei, Taiwan.


Shale Ahmed: “Recognition of Hijra as Third Gender in Bangladesh” at ILGA-Asia 2015

Shale Ahmed profiled the work that Bandhu has been doing to ensure Hijra access to education, health and housing rights, since the landmark 2011 decision by the government of Bangladesh officially acknowledging the Hijra’s as third gender. The presentation focused on the strategies and challenges of engaging institutional mechanisms–such as the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, drafting national Anti-Discrimination Legislation, and reporting at the UN Universal Periodic Review–to monitor progress & effect long-term change at the national level.

View Shale Ahmed’s presentation here: ShaleAhmed_HjraRights_CSBR-ILGAAsia2015, and read more about Bandhu’s work below.

Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) started its journey in 1996, and works toward the well-being of sexual minorities by facilitating sexual and reproductive health services and supporting human rights, dignity and livelihoods of their choices.

Bandhu Social Welfare Society envisions a Bangladesh where every person, irrespective of their gender and sexuality, is able to lead a quality life with dignity, human rights and social justice.

Main Activities & Projects

Current Programmatic activities:

  1. Community strengthening and mobilizing to more effectively engage in governance, policy and service delivery
  • Provision of safe spaces to meet, socialize and educate
  • Outreach and networking
  • Health and rights education
  • Capacity building
  • Knowledge generation
  • Policy and advocacy
    • Sensitization Meeting/workshop/consultation session at policy level
    • Project Facilitation Team (PFT) Meeting with local level administration, social elites, Lawyers and Journalists
    • Local elected bodies
    • Law Enforcement Agencies

2. Social welfare and support services

  • Drop-in services
  • Psychosexual, psychosocial and Mental health counseling
  • Livelihood program
    • Vocational training and skills building
    • Community building activities

3. Health services

  • STI and general health treatment services
  • HIV voluntary testing and counseling
  • Care and support services
    • Free medical consultation
    • Free medicine
    • Referrals for ARV access and other health services

4. Legal support

  • Legal counseling
  • Document harassment and violation cases
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the cases
  • Refer the cases to the appropriate authority

For more information visit: http://www.bandhu-bd.org/

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