This training has been uniquely designed for CHT indigenous women working in different indigenous peoples organisations, CHT based indigenous women NGOs and network and youth women wing of political organization of the indigenous people of CHT. Using the gender justice framework to address structural cause of inequality and international and national women rights instruments, the training focused particularly on status of CHT Indigenous women in traditional ethnic laws and customs and their reproductive burden evolved from unpaid care work.
Twenty participants from 11 organisations participated in the training.
A misconception exists that matriarchy is the base of social order in CHT ethnic groups and so their women enjoy more autonomy in comparison to Bengali women which is merely a myth. A study commissioned by BNPS in 2011 on Status of CHT Indigenous women in Traditional Ethnic Laws and Customs revealed the realities of discriminations to women legitimated through customs and practices. Based on the study findings BNPS has been facilitating CHT women organisations in mobilising opinion and action on reformation of customary laws discriminatory to women through involving ethnic leaders, local MPs, political parties, human and women rights activists, peace activists and media. This advocacy is also included the following agenda recommended by women participated in FGDs conducted under the study:
- Women’s role in decision making
- Gender discrimination in access to resources, education, healthcare
- Autonomy over own income
- Participation in arbitration, leadership
- Scenario of domestic violence
Capacity building is a component of this intervention to foster this reform initiative.
BNPS believes that women, providing with certain enabling conditions, are able to not only articulate and access their rights but also able to emerge as leaders facilitating positive social changes.
The objective of this particular training was to build capacity of women from different CHT organisations and institution to lead the process of challenging the structural mechanism of gender inequality and advancing indigenous women’s status in family and society.
The aim was also to develop a network of participants to address the issues in a collective manner.