Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) is an activist women’s organization, working since 1986 to establish equality for women from the family to the state level. BNPS has been working at the national level for policy and legal reforms and at the community level for organizing and mobilizing grassroots people through a variety of programs.
BNPS follows a bottom-up right-based approach linking community to the national level. In the process its role is one of a catalyst and facilitator. BNPS has been trying to create an environment for women and other marginalized groups raising their voice and claiming their entitlements through a variety of activities, like awareness raising, institution building, livelihood activities and reforms of different policies, systems, institutions and mindset. The congenial working environment, culture of co-operation and teamwork, non-hierarchical management with an activist orientation is seen by all as an asset in BNPS.
So far BNPS has directly worked with around 200,000 women and over a period of two-and-a-half decades more than 800,000 people from different backgrounds have been involved in the initiatives undertaken by BNPS. BNPS is focusing on the social, economic and political empowerment of women; strengthening local government, electoral reform, education reform, and gender budget analysis.
As a trend-setting organization, BNPS introduced the question of gender in the education system. In 1993, it started reviewing madrasa education from a gender perspective. In 2000, BNPS, for the first time in the country, started national budget analysis from a gender perspective. In addition, BNPS has been the pioneer in taking up many important steps on a number of challenging issues like inheritance laws, women’s representation in the power structure i.e. the national parliament, local government. As a strategy for creating a greater impact BNPS facilitates appropriate networks/platforms for the above-mentioned issues.
In the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties BNPS worked to build a bridge between NGOs and other diverse representatives of civil society. It also initiated collaboration with different cultural media for awareness building. As one of the pioneer organizations it started sensitizing media professionals to gender and other development issues in the nineties.
BNPS works at the community level for involving women in income-generating activities (IGA) through providing credit support, training for the management of micro enterprises, accounts-keeping and skill development, which have created a sustained environment and space for women.
BNPS not only has the expertise and wisdom of working with women towards social and economic empowerment but also an activist tenacity to take a political stand to encounter the conservative opposition to the cause of women and human rights. BNPS has also played a pioneering role in challenging many conservative mindsets, and resisting the religion fundamentalists and their exploitative networks.
Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS), established in 1986, is a leading national women rights organization in Bangladesh. BNPS is registered with the Directorate of Women Affairs and NGO Affairs Bureau of Government of Bangladesh
BNPS has the civil society consultative status in Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 1998 and since then has been participating and contributing to the sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters on regular basis.
BNPS envisaged a society free from all sorts of discrimination and working for establishing an enabling environment for women and disadvantaged people through empowerment and social transformation.
To carry out its mission, BNPS is striving to eliminate all sort of discrimination against women from family to society and state consistent with the principles of the constitution of Bangladesh and all human rights instruments of the United Nations.