Making Women Legal Rights a Reality in Bangladesh

Project Goal :
By December, 2016 women are better protection from different forms of violence through availing community legal services at project target areas of Bangladesh

Objectives:
1. Increase access to and willingness of targeted women to seek justice through community based legal service at project selected area;
2. Increase adoption & enforcement of key women rights focused legislation ;
3. Improve mutual understanding and effectiveness between BNWLA and its partner organizations involved in ensuring community level justice and strengthening other interwoven rights related issues.

Activities:
# Establishment, Activation and Service delivery of Union Level Service Centre
# Formation of multidisciplinary service provider’s group
# Deliver legal services as legal counseling, receive complains, fact findings, mediation, rescue, victim and witness preparation, case filing and conduction, client follow up and others
# Establish union level information center
# Video conferencing for rural clients to communicate with lawyers/prosecutors
# Provide telephone advice
# Amendments of women rights focused law’s through Research and Advocacy
# Improvement of enforcement and oversight mechanisms in judicial procedures through Advocacy
# Evidence based research on the issue of “improvement of prosecution of women violence related cases at district level
# Provide training to enhance capacities of different level actors as BNWLA’s lawyers, its partner organizations, member of shalish committee, CBOs/grass root level NGOs, community members, village court judicial
# Organize upazila reflection workshop to share of best practices/models
# Create online discussion forum in a BNWLA website
# E newsletter dissemination
# Legal matters update sharing and regular email exchanges

Project Implementation Methodologies:
This project follows a comprehensive and holistic approach to make targeted women better protected from different forms of violence. This will be achieved through 4 different project pillars, which are direct service delivery, capacity building, advocacy and knowledge management. The first pillar focuses on direct service delivery (through community legal service delivery centers) to the women victims of different forms of violence for legal protection. This includes legal counseling, fact finding, mediation/shalish service, court case filing provision and prosecutorial supports during court case conduction, rescue/release of victimized or potential victims from different forms of confinement, and their access to safe shelter homes as well as their long term social rehabilitation and reintegration.
The second pillar, capacity building of partner organizations, communities’ members, and community based organizations/ local NGOs, shalish committees’members; arbitration council members/local government representatives and village court judicials are consequently the important step to capacitate these groups about the rights of women and their current rights violations.
The third pillar contains advocacy measures at governmental level, to provide a reform legal frame for the project interventions at grassroots and local level by doing so to sustain the outcomes of the whole action.Activities like the amendment of laws will have a long lasting and positive effect for the women victims and the ones at risk to become such. For this linkage, the fourth methodological project pillar, knowledge management is needed. Evidence based research as well as reflective learning techniques will also contribute to enhance the quality of care and support services for the women victims of different forms of violence and are an integral part of standard operating procedures. Other crucial implementation methods and principles are targeted women and community participation at all stages of the project cycle to build their capacity and to promote their resilience against the factors of violence. The involvement of targeted women, their families especially males and communities in the planning and execution of project as well as the cooperation of local government and other actors (i.e. local NGOs/CBOs) ensures ownership and sustainability of the action.

Project Intervention Area:
64 unions in 16 Upazilas of 12 district namely Rangpur, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Mymensing, Tangail, Moulovibazar, Khulna, Satkhira and Borguna.

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MWLR Project Areas

Output of the Project
Output-1: BNWLA and its partners increased access of poorest and disadvantaged women in community based legal services.
Output-2: Increased advocacy for adoption & enforcement of key women rights focused legislation.
Output-3: Increased usages of evidence based researches in amendment of laws and practices.
Output-4: Enhanced capacities of different level actors (i.e. BNWLA’s lawyers, its partner organizations, member of shalish committee, , CBOs/ grass roots level NGOs, community members, village court judicial) to deliver effective community legal services and to promote lesson learning, knowledge management and coordination within the justice sector.

Outcome of the Project:
1. Increase use of community legal services by women;
2. Increase in the number of cases resolved, filed and prosecuted;
3. Increase willingness on the part of targeted groups to prevent women rights abuses;
4. Adoption of laws that criminalize different forms of violence against women and protect women rights as human rights;
5. Increase in the enforcement rate of legislation and policies;
6. Increase in the availability, quality and use of different sort of services by women of different forms of violence through action researches;
7.Changes in the quality of tracking and monitoring of women rights violation;
8. Improved capacity and performance of BNWLA and its partners to increase or initiate community legal services integration with their other development-oriented activities;
9. Increase in the public understanding about women rights and the impact of violations on vulnerable women and the community.
10. Increased awareness within the target groups resulting in reduction of tolerance for women rights violation.

Impact of the Project:
1. Services become accessible to targeted women due its localization at union level;
2. Easy access to services assist targeted women to receive quick advices, immediate supports and get permanent solutions of the problems.
3. As a result of receiving services, targeted women have either increased their levels of income, through receipt of welfare benefits, or have been helped in resolving debt problems.
4. Maximizing income or reducing debt have a positive effect on the overall quality of life, including the health, of the individuals concerned.
5. Learning of community services assist to develop a strategic action plan to improve the ways laws affect all people in the target group.

For BNWLA and its partners:
6. In many Instances the profile of the organizations will be raised within the local area, and knowledge and expertise in certain categories of law and in dealing with particular client groups will greatly improve.