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Girls’ development, gender, leadership, and the SDGs in Bangladesh

Wed, March 8, 3:15 to 6:30pm, Sheraton Atlanta, Floor: 1, Atlanta 3 (North Tower)


Considering the importance of gender equality to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, this presentation will focus on a set of research undertaken by EHDS on the approaches to and challenges in providing girls' education through madrasa in Bangladesh, and strategies for reducing dropout rates, improving quality and leadership capacity building initiatives in ground.

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. In madrassas girls are neglected, underserved and they aren’t always included in international education statistics. The gap is huge just in Bangladesh: 3 million girls are attending 40 thousand madrasas across the country.

In Sylhet, Bangladesh, we have established a goal to develop leaders in 300 madrasas by 2020. Through this goal 90,000 young girls will get quality education, will achieve leadership skills and will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. Involvement of local government, community leaders and arranging teachers’ training/workshop are the primary approaches being taken. In the program, girls are invited to receive training on leadership skills and form study clubs where girls can have a place to see each other once in a week and practice many of the soft skills they have developed. This presentation will discuss the leadership approach employed, the results, and the ways in which it has expanded.