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Impact Story: Young women lead peacebuilding efforts in the Rohingya community in Cox’s Bazar

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PARTNERS FOR CHANGE

UN Women’s work in Cox’s Bazar aims at ensuring that humanitarian efforts contribute to transforming socio-cultural gender norms and relations through the leadership and empowerment of women and girls and the promotion of positive forms of masculinities. The main goal of the 2020-2022 project “Reducing Social Tension through Women’s Leadership and the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in Cox’s Bazar” is to strengthen women’s capacities in gender-based violence prevention efforts while fostering the development of community-based, inclusive and long-lasting peace by reducing tensions between the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar.

The programme is implemented by the local legal aid and human rights organization Ain O Salish Kendra with funding from the Governments of Sweden and Canada and initial funds from the Government of Japan. The programme supports the local NGO Jago Nari Unnayan Sangsta, which leads the Young Women Leaders Network and is part of the Global Network of Peacebuilders.

WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY IN BANGLADESH

Bangladesh is currently facing one of its worst humanitarian crises due to the large-scale influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The number of refugees now exceeds 900,000 with 52% of them being women and girls.

Due to limited viable livelihood opportunities for refugees, women, girls and children are at heightened risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation and child, early and forced marriage. Domestic violence is prevalent in the camps.

Despite these violations, Rohingya women and girls are playing a key role in increasing the resilience of their families and communities by being at the forefront of relief and recovery efforts as volunteers and elected and self-mobilised community leaders.

The Government of Bangladesh has been a staunch supporter of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda since 2000, when its Presidency of the UN Security Council played a key role leading to the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

In 2019, with the support of UN Women, Bangladesh launched its first National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325. This is a blueprint for the country’s efforts to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the prevention of conflict and violent extremism, and the protection and advancement of women’s rights to promote resilience during crises.