IFAD / BANGLADESH WOMEN

07-Mar-2022 00:03:09
A group of young women in Northern Bangladesh received a vocational training from a UN funded project, they are now looking for jobs as drivers which is something never seen before in the region. IFAD
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STORY: IFAD / BANGLADESH WOMEN
TRT: 3:09
SOURCE: IFAD
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: BENGALI / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 FEBRUARY 2022, MOLLIKPUR, BANGLADESH
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, vehicles and drivers on the streets of Mollikpur in Northern Bangladesh 2. 2. Wide shot, the car Babli is driving
3. Various shots, Babli Akter walking up to the car
4. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“Yes, people stare. When a woman drives down the street, people stare in disbelief – how is it possible that a woman is driving?”
5. Various shots, Babli driving
6. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“It is widely thought that driving is a man’s job, and not for women. Women should not drive at night, women shouldn’t drive too far: there are many societal restrictions.”
7. Wide shot, Babli looking under the bonnet of the car
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ndaya Beltchika, Gender Expert, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
“So this project is the project that enables the villagers to earn income, to diversify their source of income in the context of climate change, because that particular region is very susceptable to severe flights and severe floods.”
9. Wide shot, Babli looking inside bonnet of the car.
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ndaya Beltchika, Gender Expert, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
“So with they would have an opportunity to earn an income, to provide for the families and then the need to be married early because of the lack of opportunities.”
11. Wide shot, Babli walking with her mother and father
12. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Zaheda Begum, Babli’s Mother:
“As long as my daughter learns something useful, and is able to earn livelihood, i am fine. People may think what they want, but i want her to achieve her dream.”
13. Wide shot, other young women who have been trained meeting together including Suhena Begum.
14. Various shots, Babli talking with other women.
15. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“After being trained in how to drive, i feel that my friends and relatives look upon me with more respect.”
16. Wide shot, Suhena walking with Babli and other women
17. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Suhena Begum, Woman Driver:
“I want to show the way for the next generation. Girls, women, we can all open up our new pathways for progress, and we are happy to set an example as the first generation.”
18. Wide shot, Babli and other women walking along the street
STORYLINE
A group of young women in Northern Bangladesh are breaking into a male dominated profession, after receiving driving lessons for the first time.

The women who all received vocational training from a UN funded project are now looking for jobs as drivers something never before seen in the region.

The vocational training is the first step to embarking in new careers as drivers. Not just improving their status in society, but helping them and their families adapt to the changing climate.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. This theme recognizes the contribution around the world of women and girls who play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Babli Akter is a rare sight on the streets of Mollikpur in Northern Bangladesh. Not because of her looks or the car she is getting into, but the fact, she is driving at all.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“Yes, people stare. When a woman drives down the street, people stare in disbelief – how is it possible that a woman is driving?”

In this rural region, less than a third of the female population can drive a car. Of those who do, very few women drive for a living, as this is currently a male dominated profession.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“It is widely thought that driving is a man’s job, and not for women. Women should not drive at night, women shouldn’t drive too far: there are many societal restrictions.”

Babli is one of 40 unemployed young women who are the first to receive driving lessons from a project funded by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development or IFAD and the Government of Bangladesh.

Less than a third of the overall workforce in Bangladesh are women, with the majority employed in the agricultural sector. Learning new skills not only opens up new areas for employment, but also gives them extra income in this climate vulnerable region.

In the Haor region over the last 20 years, floods have become more frequent and prolonged, often lasting for up to 6 months a year.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ndaya Beltchika, Gender Expert, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
“So this project is the project that enables the villagers to earn income, to diversify their source of income in the context of climate change, because that particular region is very susceptable to severe flights and severe floods.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ndaya Beltchika, Gender Expert, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
“So with they would have an opportunity to earn an income, to provide for the families and then the need to be married early because of the lack of opportunities.”

Most women still undertake traditional roles in society, with almost 50 per cent married by the age of 18. There is still huge opposition to women training for careers, but Babli’s family see this as a positive step, giving the family much need extra income and a role in society.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Zaheda Begum, Babli’s Mother:
“As long as my daughter learns something useful, and is able to earn livelihood, i am fine. People may think what they want, but i want her to achieve her dream.”

Their skills have also given the new recruits an elevated status in society.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Babli Akter, Woman Driver:
“After being trained in how to drive, i feel that my friends and relatives look upon me with more respect.”

The project hopes to train more women in the next few years. As well as providing jobs, it could lead the way to more equality for women in other male dominated professions in the future.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Suhena Begum, Woman Driver:
“I want to show the way for the next generation. Girls, women, we can all open up our new pathways for progress, and we are happy to set an example as the first generation.”

Soon the sight of a woman driver like Babli behind the wheel of a car in Mollikpur will become a lot more common.
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