Empowering Women through Civil Society Actors in Bangladesh (EWCSA)

Shrimp cultivation is performing a significant role in the livelihoods of rural coastal people of our country. The rapid development of the shrimp industry at Shyamnagar, Satkhira has provided employment opportunities for where about 80% of casual labourers in this sector are women. The women shrimp workers are discriminated by the deprivation of shrimp farm owners at the shrimp sector due to their lack of empowerment since long back. While, about 80% shrimp workers are women and working as casual labour modalities at these shrimp farms. Considering the context, LEDARS along with BINDU with the financial support of OXFAM Bangladesh are implementing the project to empower the women shrimp workers through mobilizing them to build an alliance to enhance the decent work environment and equal wages for them like as men workers. The project will work with 2000 direct beneficiaries (female) and 20,000 indirect beneficiaries in Munsiganj, Burigoalini and Atulia unions of Shyamnagar upazila, Satkhira. At the first step three women shrimp workers group will be formed at the three unions where the most vulnerable women shrimp workers are located. Finally a women shrimp workers alliance will be built taking representative from the women shrimp workers groups.

In doing the empowerment, the project will conduct the study of labour laws and related policies to identify policy gaps. In order to overcome the situation a law and policy reinforcement action plan will be developed. Once planned, the law and policy reinforcement plan will be translated in a manner to educate the women shrimp workers and their alliance to raise their voice to ensure their rights. The similar findings also shared to the local government and the civil society actors to motivate them to get the support for the women shrimp workers and their alliance. The project will also work with the shrimp farm owners to create a strategic pressure to minimize the issues of wage discrimination and to create an enabling working environment for the women shrimp workers.

Moreover, to bring the issue at the impact level, the project will organize national level dialogue with the policy actors and experts where law and policy reinforcement plan will be shared to sensitize them to initiate such changes and legislation support in favour of women shrimp workers in the shrimp sector.

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