This project is being implemented in poor urban areas of Dhaka and is specifically addressing the barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) that are faced by marginalized groups. Among the populations residing in these underserved urban areas, our project focuses on adolescents, unmarried women and Ready-Made Garment (RMG) factory workers as they face significant challenges and discrimination in accessing the full range of sexual and reproductive health services they are entitled to, including contraceptive services and safe abortion (referred to as menstrual regulation (MR) in Bangladesh).
We aim to improve SRHR through increasing access to quality sexual and reproductive health care services, addressing the social and gender-based barriers to SRHR, and strengthening referral pathways for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The project uses a multi-pronged approach to achieve its aims. First by improving health workers’ skills and strengthening their capacity to provide gender-sensitive sexual and reproductive health services in 154 sites including health clinics, GP practices and health facilities located within garment factories. Second, through community-based approaches the project seeks to address behaviour and social attitudes related to gender and SGBV. It also challenges stigma concerning sexual and reproductive health services and improves awareness on how to access contraceptives, safe abortion (MR), and post-abortion care (PAC). Finally, the project takes a health-systems strengthening approach and includes collaboration with government agencies and authorities working to improve service delivery, coordination and referral mechanisms.
This project aims to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights in underserved urban settlements in Dhaka. The project expects the following outcomes to be achieved:
- Increased use of sexual and reproductive health services that uphold the rights of women and adolescent girls.
- Improved availability and accessibility to quality sexual and reproductive health services for women and adolescents living in poor urban areas.
- Increased social support, knowledge, self-efficacy related to SRHR, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) resources for women and adolescents.
- Improved public health emergency preparedness and response to ensure uninterrupted access to essential SRH services during public health emergencies, including pandemics such as COVID-19.