Consultancies & RESEARCH
Feminist and gender-based research to challenge gendered barriers, conditioning, and societal norms around power dynamics
lONG TERM programmes
Feminist spaces and projects driving transformative change on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and curation of feminist programmes
Awareness raising events and materials
Highlighting real life experiences, shedding light on feminist discourses, and creating materials to kickstart conversations
Training, workshops, and engagements
Understanding gender and power dynamic issues within organisational structures and proposing sustainable solutions
Consultancies and research
We work on:
- Creating awareness
- Applying gender lens for inclusion and intersectionality
- Strategising on challenging gender barriers, conditioning, and societal norms around power dynamics
- Using a participatory and bottom-up approach keeping women’s and marginalised experiences at the center of our work
- Raising awareness on pleasure and self-care
In 2020, Bonhishikha developed a Training of Trainers module for UN Women in Bangladesh. We carried out virtual training sessions for all gender focal points at UN agencies in Bangladesh on ‘Preventing Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority’.
Long term programmes
Bonhishikha aims to foster safe spaces and feminist leadership with focus on:
- National and local level advocacy
- Challenging gender norms
- Promoting an impetus for equal rights for all
- Creating and mobilizing local level youth leadership
These programmes use feminist and gender-based approaches. They intend to enable all participants to reflect on, unlearn, and facilitate discussions on gender and power relationships in their public, professional, and private lives.
Awareness raising events and materials
Our awareness building events and tools challenge power dynamics and existing societal norms through:
1. Events that highlight real life experiences of women, men, and other gender and sexual diverse groups in Bangladesh
2. Bringing feminist methodologies in story collection and sharing
3. Creating offline and online materials intended to kick-start relevant conversations about gender identities, expressions, and challenging the norms within Bangladeshi society
From 2015 to 2019, we planned and executed theatrical productions titled “It’s A SHE Thing”, “Nari Nokkhotro”, “Men Don’t Talk”, and “She Said He Said” to raise fund for different social causes, and grassroots marginalized organisations and groups.
We also performed and hosted interactive discussions for UN Women Bangladesh, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, Action Aid Bangladesh, Save the Children, Bikroy.com and other corporate as well as development organisations to kick-start conversations around gender, feminism, sexuality; and female leadership and workplace sexual harassment.
Training, workshops and engagements
Bonhishikha works in collaboration with institutions to identify specific gender and power dynamic issues within the organisational structure. We then design interactive discussions and modules to facilitate conversations, helping organisations take steps to resolve the issues identified.
From 2016 onwards, we have conducted interactive sessions and workshops with private sector organisations such as BAT Bangladesh, Bikroy.com, Colors FM, Telenor Health, GPH Ispat; and development organisations like iDE, UNDP, UN women, the British High Commission, and the British Council. We initiated conversations around gender and workplace sexual harassment to help develop an enabling environment at work which encourages diversity and also to set up inclusive mechanisms to deal with complaints filed.
Under the umbrella of Generation Equality, Bonhishikha facilitated an ideation session for UN Women, with young feminists from around Bangladesh, to discuss and plan out the scope of work for Bangladesh. A team of participants led by Bonhishikha attended CREA’s Reconference 2019 in Kathmandu.
In March 2020, Bonhishikha in collaboration with Leaping Boundaries conducted training sessions with teachers from different Madrasas (Islamic schools) from Dhaka. The sessions focused on “Understanding Gender Based Violence”, highlighting the need for Sexual Harassment Policies in all educational institutions.
In 2021, UNDP’s management retreat included a session on ‘Understanding Power, Consent, and Authority’, facilitated by Bonhishikha. We enabled conversations on how to integrate these issues into UNDP’s management and work cultures.
Movements and discussions
From the onset, Bonhishikha had mobilised passionate volunteers to work on a range of issues. These includes bodily autonomy, gender stereotypes, consent, the rights of gender diverse people, marital rape, and gendered expectations and burdens.
We are committed to building feminist spaces through movements and discussions. Our volunteers are feminist leaders. They comprise of gender diverse youth advocates who represent our voices both regionally and globally.
We actively seek to build our youth leadership through our partnerships with like-minded organisations.
Women of the World (WoW) Bangladesh
Bonhishikha, in partnership with SPaRC, worked with the British Council as a local curator for the first ever WoW Festivals in Bangladesh from 2017 to 2019. The curation focused on:
- An inclusive feminist approach to bring women’s voices from across the country to the forefront
- Advocacy for the contemporary and urgent issues within the women’s movement to be highlighted throughout the festival
- Enabling a women-centered experience for all participants during the event
Women Gaining Ground
In 2021, Bonhishikha partnered with IWRAW and other implementing partners, including CREA and Akili Dada for the five-year multi country project named Women Gaining Ground. Under this programme, we will equip young women and girls, and their collectives, with the necessary tools to become active leaders in driving transformative changes in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), and for their political participation in alliance with the women’s movement.
The programme will strengthen the voice, visibility, and organising and influencing power of Women with Disabilities (WWD) and young women to eliminate SGBV as a critical barrier that impact the realisation of their rights. It will also create the required conditions to enable greater political participation.
Feminists Across Generations
Feminists Across Generations was formed in 2020, in response to the Begumganj rape case on 2 September 2020, and the MC College rape case on 25 September 2020.
FemGen is a local, intergenerational feminist alliance fighting the culture of gender based violence. The group launched a movement titled “Rage Against Rape”, declaring gender based violence as a national emergency.
Bonhishikha joined as a core organiser, and joined other organisations and activists in this movement.
The alliance’s ten-point demand called for accountability for all major institutions including the state, educational institutions, the media, and accountability within the family framework. The alliance took an absolute stance against the death penalty, arguing that it would not solve the issue of rape culture, ignoring its root causes.
The alliance continues to demand mandatory and comprehensive sex education in schools, zero tolerance of victim blaming, prioritising cyber security, and raising awareness about individual cases of rape and assault.
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