Share-Net Bangladesh

About the Infertility CoP

Share-Net Bangladesh brings together the Communities of Practice (CoP) that consist of social and medical researchers, development practitioners, health workers, government officials and legal experts to engage with one another to find solutions and take critical issues forward. The purpose of the CoP is to have a systematised, focussed and demand driven approach and a clearer focus on maximising impact by using knowledge effectively for improved SRHR practices and policies. The CoP of Share-Net Bangladesh is aligned with the concept of the CoP of Share-Net International.

Context of Infertility in Bangladesh and beyond

WHO defines clinical infertility as, “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” 180 Million couples worldwide are potentially affected by infertility, depending on estimates. However, prevalence is very hard to measure as there are few national estimates of infertility prevalence and there is a variation in definitions and measurement of infertility across studies.

In the case of Bangladesh, social, religious and gender norms force women to take the blame for childlessness and to suffer the consequences most. The community may react by labelling and taunting a woman or by ridiculing the husband for carrying on with an infertile wife.

Infertility is an invisible and highly tabooed phenomenon and rarely discussed. While a large number of (mainly qualitative) studies have given ample insight into the socio-cultural and psychological dimensions of infertility and its impact in people’s daily life, limited quantitative data exist. Infertility has different impacts on men, women, people with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and people with disabilities. There are political and ethical considerations that push addressing infertility into the margins. There is a lack of understanding on how cross-cutting infertility is as a topic and how it touches upon global concerns.

Expectations from the CoP on Infertility

In Bangladesh, the matter of infertility is neglected in families and the overall society. Moreover, there is no government policy concerning this very important issue.

Around the topic and thematic track of ‘Infertility in Bangladesh’, the members of the Community of Practice (CoP) will contribute, engage, and participate in the creation of a Knowledge Product as well as participate in the 6th SRHR Knowledge Fair in November 2021. This year, the CoP members will draw on their knowledge, experience and expertise to produce knowledge product, a narrative report focusing on ‘Infertility’.

Members of the CoP on ‘Infertility’

Sl. Name Organisation
1. Tahia Rahman Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (CMMS)
2. Dr Saikh Imtiaz Dhaka University
3. H A Boby Independent Consultant
4. Shamima Chowdhury Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA)
5. Julia Ahmed Independent Consultant
6. Nasir Rayhan United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
7. Minhaz Uddin Shibly CMMS


Kishore Basak

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