Non-profit organizations from very distant parts of the world and different contexts have come together to discuss their work in the fight for the rights of women and the protection of vulnerable children. “They might live in a Muslim country, completely different from mine, where women are not so free, but I have learnt from Saima that we are all the same. Our fight is the same one, we don’t want to be part of the problem but of the solution. Swimming against the tide is common to all women in every part of the world”, explained IsauraOsejo, social worker of the Nicaraguan NGO La Amistad, about her Pakistani colleague SaimaToor.
After two years since the Girl Power program began, the six countries have been implementing different activities like help lines for women in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan; micro credits for mothers in Ethiopia; and protection and psychological support for women victims of sexual violence in Nicaragua and Sierra Leone. And in almost all cases, except Ethiopia, one of the largest successes has come through a simple idea: soccer for girls. A sport for men played by women. “It took time to convince their families and we faced problems like the dress code because the uniform couldn’t be too tight. But now it is very well accepted, we have several teams of girls and they have gained self-confidence and strength through soccer”, claimed Mamun Kazii, representative of the Bangladeshi NGO Shariatpur Development Society (SDS).
Besides soccer, providing young mothers with financial support and strengthening their networks against sexual abuse are future challenges that aim to better protect the girls and other children living in harsh conditions.
The Girl Power is a five year program (2010-2015) funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by five Dutch organisation in 10 countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The program aims to fight the injustices girls and young women face daily in these countries. For more information on this week’s conclusions or the Girl Power program, you can contact Mamun Kazi or visit the NGO’s website http://www.sdsbd.org/.

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Highlights

First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


First international meeting of the Girl Power! program in Leiden, The Netherlands Soccer for girls, success for all


Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), the Bangladeshi NGO which implements the program in the district of Shariatpur, has been one of the members of the meeting.


Key similarities like the empowerment of women through sports were discussed by the representatives from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.


Case Studies

  • Bilkis Begum

    Mrs Bilkis Begume in Year round vegetable cultivation

  • Rafiqul Islam

    Mr. Rafiqul Islam in Year round vegetable cultivation

  • Jasmin Begum

    Jasmin Begum gained through cultivating fish in her pond