Tag Archives: slum

Women and BRAC

Last week, a friend and I braved the Eid traffic to visit a colleague’s wife who works in the Gender Specialty unit in BRAC. We got lost, of course, which made getting to the final destination that much better.

It was interesting to hear what BRAC is doing on the issue of women’s rights and equality in Bangladesh. This visit is also uniquely timed; news of women committing suicide over harassment has been dominating the news over the last several weeks. It was only earlier this month that Bangladesh adopted the National Women Development Policy with a provision for equal share to property, employment and business for women.

Bangladesh has made some strides in women’s equality, but there is still so much more to be done.

Another anecdote about BRAC is that from its top floors, you can see Dhaka spread out before you. Covering an entire side of the landscape visible from the high windows is Korail Slum (one of ~7 big slums in Dhaka). If you can’t tell from the picture, the houses are actually built on water, held up by stakes, with tin roofs and walls.

The views from the top floor of BRAC, the largest NGO in the world, overlooking Korail Slum

My friend and I were so taken aback by the sheer size of it. How could we have missed something so big? The affluent districts and water almost circle it completely. In fact, the divide couldn’t have been clearer.

Korail Slum and the beginnings of affluent Benani across the water

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