Four new projects on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Bangladesh – NWO-WOTRO

Posted by Share-Net Intl on January 30, 2017 at 6:47 am

NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development has recently awarded funding to four more projects within the research programme Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), that focuses on Bangladesh and Burundi.

With these four projects 1.4 million euros will be invested in research in Bangladesh. They  aim to generate insights in and a better understanding of processes that determine and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health of people, as well as their ability to claim their sexual and reproductive rights.

The call has been developed in close collaboration with the Knowledge Platform Share-Net International and solicited proposals for research to be carried out in Bangladesh or Burundi. These four projects focus specifically on Bangladesh. Consortia with researchers and practitioners aim to generate new knowledge and insights on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) that will contribute to improved policies and practices, focusing especially on young people’s SRHR.


Sexual and reproductive health and rights and young migrant women in Dhaka

The consortium leader is Dr Ellen Bal (VU University). The other consortium members are: Jahangir Nagar University, Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB), Bangladesh Sanjukta Sramik Federation (BSSF), Indigenous Peoples Development Service (IPDS), HARC

The improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights is considered a stepping-stone towards gender equity. The project will look at how self-determination and sexual autonomy of young (unmarried) women living and working in the urban context are enhanced or obstructed through their migrant positions and income-generating activities. It will do so by doing research with three groups of young vulnerable migrant women (beauticians, ready-made garment workers and sex workers) in the urban context. The project will give insight into their needs, desires and experiences regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The project members will produce a documentary and short informative clips.

Engaging Young Men to Prevent Violence in Bangladesh

The consortium leader is Dr Gary Barker (Promundo-United States). The other consortium members are: Dhaka University (Bangladesh), Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (Bangladesh), United Nations Youth and Students Association (Bangladesh)

Harmful gender norms hinder sexual and reproductive health and rights and promote violence against women and girls in Bangladesh. Working with young men to challenge harmful gender norms and to provide SRH education can promote gender equality and prevent violence. This (action) research will explore the impact of gender-transformative SRHR education for young men in secondary and tertiary education in Bangladesh. Self Reflexive Diaries will be used to facilitate dialogues, together with a ‘Campus Hero Café’: a safe learning space for students.

Digital Sister for Urban Youth

The consortium leader is Prof. Anita Hardon (University of Amsterdam). The other consortium members are: James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University and Mayalogy Pvt. Ltd.

Mobile technology is spreading amongst young people in urban Bangladesh, used for services including sexual health care. This research aims to identify what the sexual reproductive health related needs for this population are, since there currently is limited understanding of what this population wants and how they are accessing services. This limited understanding is the result of strong stigmatization and general lack of information, especially on issues of sexuality and reproductive health. This research will identify the SRHR needs of this group by accessing the data set of Maya, which is an anonymous online platform, through which users ask medical doctors and practicing lawyers any medical or legal question they have. Analysis of this dataset will assess the effectiveness of ICT based initiatives in reaching out to urban youth and will contribute to better information and policies to meet this group’s needs regarding SRHR.

Theater intervention to engage young men in sexual education

The consortium leader is Prof. Malabika Sarker (BRAC University). The other consortium members are Bandhu Social Welfare Society, National Institute of Mental Health Bangladesh (NIMH), KIKID Foundation and Erasmus University

In many places, sexuality is still taboo and sexual education is difficult. In Europe, the use of theater to open up the debate on sexual behaviours has been successful. In Asia, such theatrical interventions are not widely spread. A consortium of theater makers, public health workers, slum activists, social media experts and academics from Bangladesh and the Netherlands will engage in Dhaka slums to experiment with the use of theatrical means to stimulate debate on sexual ideas and practices. They will focus on young men and engage them in designing the intervention and disseminating the results in innovative ways. Eventually, the study will develop psycho-education counselling modules.