Publication Date

2013

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker, PhD

Abstract

As a result of civil society and the government of Bangladesh’s commitment to reach universal education and gender equality, great strides have been made in secondary school enrollment with the number of girls attending now on par with that of boys. However, a consequence of the increased mobility of adolescent girls in public places is increased incidences of sexual harassment. In 2009 and 2010 there was a rash of suicides. Adolescent girls who had been victims of sexual harassment took their own lives to escape the pain and shame brought on by a culture that blames girls for men’s unwelcomed sexual advances. BRAC, Bangladesh’s and the world’s largest NGO, responded by creating the Meyder Jonnyo Nirapod Nagorikotto program or MEJNIN. This paper is based on my analysis report for BRAC entitled, BRAC’s MEJNIN: a comparative analysis of multi-level strategies to eliminate sexual harassment, which analyzed and compared MEJNIN to four other NGO programs with similar goals. This paper contextualizes the issues surrounding the problem of sexual harassment of women and girls in Bangladesh, describes BRAC’s MEJNIN program in depth along with programs of four other NGOs, and presents findings and recommendations made to BRAC as a result of the analysis. Methodology included interviews with key informants about violence against women programs, surveys of individuals and groups, observation of MEJNIN program watch group meetings, research of organization literature, and review of published and unpublished research in the area of violence against women and girls in Bangladesh. Findings revealed overlaps and gaps between MEJNIN and the four Bangladeshi NGO programs as well as between MEJNIN and other BRAC programs. Based on the findings, recommendations included expansion of the program to include meso-level interventions, integration of boys into program activities with girls, enhancement of advocacy training, and increased collaboration with other BRAC programs.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Social Psychology and Interaction | Social Work