Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) announced the launching of Campaign on ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Its Imperative to Women’s Social, Economic and Political Empowerment’ in a press conference at national press club yesterday.
Ms Rokeya Kabir, Ms Afroza Banu, Ms Afroza Haq Rina and Mr. Omar Tarek Chowdhury of BNPS and SAAPE Bangladesh process addressed the press to brief the theme, related issues, challenges and campaign activities.
Speakers said, despite women made some progress in different field, the issue of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) is yet in the margin of intervention. Access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and right to choice and decision is crucial for women’s well being that eventually linked with effective participation in economic, social and political arena and emancipation of poverty.
BNPS Executive Director Rokeya Kabir, who is also a Core Committee Member of SAAPE, mentioned that the reproductive age of women (15-50 years) is critical both for reproductive and productive work. If a woman is burdened to produce more children than she actually wants, she is compromising her own development, empowerment and productivity, and this leads to poverty in all dimensions for women. If women can make the best of their productive and reproductive years by making their reproductive choice and avoid unwanted pregnancies, then they can focus on their productive dimensions, get educated, be economically independent, and participate in economics, social and political facets of lives and become empowered.
Besides scaling up of BNPS own program on SRHR education for adolescents in 35 mainstream schools, the campaign will incorporate activities like discussion and seminar at grassroots and national level, street theater and cultural program, publishing IEC material and broadcasting TV talk show for mass awareness, opinion building and policy advocacy.
This campaign is a part of South Asian Women Rights Campaign initiated by South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). SAAPE gender thematic group members in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also taking part in the campaign focusing on Economic empowerment, Food security, Equal wages and Women in peace building respectively.