This project is part of Canada’s Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, which supports local and regional women’s organisations and networks that are working to promote women’s rights, and advance women’s empowerment and gender equality in developing countries. This is done by supporting their activities, building their institutional capacity, and promoting network and alliance-building as women’s rights and feminist organizations are critical agents of change. The Program also responds to the significant, globally recognized gap in funding and support to women’s rights organizations and movements around the world. This project, implemented by Manusher Jonno Foundation, a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization, aims to strengthen the ability of local women’s rights organizations in Bangladesh to help women – particularly those who are vulnerable and marginalized – exercise their rights. The project also aims to advocate on behalf of women to governments and decision-makers at all levels, and develop linkages and networks that amplify their voice and influence. The project is expected to directly benefit 25 to 30 organizations, and indirectly benefit more than 100,000 women and girls. Project activities include providing: (1) multi-year funding to the selected local women’s rights organizations; (2) targeted capacity building to the organizations selected for multi-year funding; (3) support to strengthen networks and alliances between women’s rights organizations; and (4) small, short-term funding to local women’s rights organizations and networks to pilot innovative ideas and approaches, and to respond quickly to unforeseen events and opportunities.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) improved management, programming and sustainability of local women’s rights organizations in Bangladesh, particularly those representing vulnerable and marginalized women and girls; (2) enhanced delivery of quality services and advocacy by women’s rights organizations to advance gender equality in Bangladesh; and (3) increased effectiveness of national, sub-national and regional women’s rights platforms, networks and alliances to affect policy, legal and social change in Bangladesh.