Gender equality begins at home

Violence against women remains among the gravest problems in our society

Bangladesh has a long way to go when it comes to ensuring gender equality.

While it’s true that our nation has made a fair deal of progress when it comes to empowering women in a way that facilitates their inclusion in the economy, that is but one component of gender equality.

No, for us to achieve true equity, it has to start at home.

To that end, it is absolutely heartening to see that in many villages and rural areas of the country, the attitude towards men and women sharing the same work has been steadily improving over the last few years, moving away from the age-old notions of “men’s work” being different to that of “women’s work.”

These changes have been made possible through World Vision Bangladesh’s Nobo Jatra Project, funded by USAID and in partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

One of the biggest impacts of the project is in the decrease of gender-based violence within the upazilas where they have been implemented -- facilitating meetings and discussions every two weeks on gender relations within families and the importance of joint decision-making for families. These meetings represent the kind of understanding and empathy that we all need to practice in order to eliminate problems such as gender-based violence and pave the way towards true gender equality.

It is extremely disheartening to know that violence against women remains among the gravest problems that still persists in our society, and it is an absolute shame that it never appears to get better, only worse.

Tackling this issue at its root -- the home -- is the only way for us to finally make real a future where we have well and truly left “conventional” gender roles and retrograde attitudes towards women behind us.