Church helps lead 'quiet revolution' for Bangladeshi women
An empowered woman in Belghoria village proudly displays her vegetable business. "Three years ago, women here lacked confidence and a sense of purpose," says James Pender.
Fixing sanitation problems, stopping domestic violence, preventing child marriages.
(Photo: © James Pender/CMS)
These are just a few of the ways in which Bangladeshi women who have gained dignity and empowerment through a church-run programme are now transforming whole villages.
That’s the news from mission partner James Pender, who works with The Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP).
“A quiet revolution is taking place,” he said. “It is wonderful to be a part of the process.”
For several years, the CBSDP has formed development groups with around 20 women who meet for discussion and skills training. They are often given small loans and taught how to save money.
As they learn new skills and are made aware of their rights, women become empowered and many go on to be part of village organisations that care for the whole community.
James recently visited Belghoria village. “I was excited to see the transformation. Three years ago, the women lacked confidence, often seen as second class citizens. Now, they’ve helped create buildings; they’ve petitioned the local government for new latrines and they’re helping villagers obtain voting cards.”They are also discovering that there’s strength in numbers.
When they heard a local woman was being beaten by her husband, they banded together and confronted him. “I would have loved to see his reaction to a large group of women assembling outside his house.The beating soon stopped and this brave group of women also prevented two early marriages of young girls in a similar way.”
Belghoria is just one of several villages that are being transformed by women who are being empowered in Jesus’ name.
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Published: 14:50 28 March 2012 | 1910 viewsLast updated: 04 May 2012 See other stories in these categories: News: Mission partners, MISSION UPDATE, Asia