Social Worker’s Workshop: “Empowering Social Workers as Gender-Based Violence Change Agents”

PHR social workers with guests
PHR social workers with guests

On November 30, 2016, the USAID-funded Protecting Human Rights (PHR) Program of Plan International Bangladesh organized a workshop entitled Empowering Social Workers as Gender-Based Violence Change Agents at the Hotel Westin, Dhaka. The conference recognized and demonstrated the success and contributions of PHR’s social workers, known as our ‘frontline cadre’ in preventing domestic violence and protecting its survivors. The workshop also aimed to promote the Government and NGO sectors to heighten Bangladesh’s commitment to eliminate domestic violence, stop child marriage, and further human rights by working at the grassroots level directly with women and children survivors at their homes and communities. 35 out of 204 PHR social workers, along with 11 PHR partner organizations attended the program.

Guests of the event. (from left) Jesmin Sultana Paru, Chief Executive of ELMA, Dr. Abul Hossain from MSPAW of MoWCA, Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman of NHRC, Kevin Gash, Acting Office Director, Democracy & Governance of USAID and Henry Alderfer, CoP, PHR Program
Guests of the event. (from left) Jesmin Sultana Paru, Chief Executive of ELMA, Dr. Abul Hossain from MSPAW of MoWCA, Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman of NHRC, Kevin Gash, Acting Office Director, Democracy & Governance of USAID and Henry Alderfer, CoP, PHR Program

During the event, remarks were delivered by Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh, Kevin Gash, Acting Office Director, Democracy & Governance of USAID Bangladesh, Dr. Abul Hossain, Project Director of Multi-Sectoral Program on Violence Against Women of MoWCA and Dr. Sadeka Halim of Dhaka University. They unamimously championed the tireless and effective efforts of the social workers to uncover women survivors at the village level, and assist in providing psycho-social counseling, para-legal support, and referral to emergency services.

Kevin Gash, Acting Office Director, Democracy & Governance of USAID marks his speech
Kevin Gash, Acting Office Director, Democracy & Governance of USAID marks his speech

Three social workers shared their working experiences: one of them as a survivor of domestic violence; another as a Joyeeta awardee; and the third as an elected Union parishad member. The event concluded with an open discussion between the social workers and the panel of guests. One of the major comments on from the panel was that the special provision of retaining the girl child’s marriage, “under certain circumstances with the permission of the parents and Court,” should not be included in the forthcoming Child Marriage Restraint Act, recently approved by the Cabinet.

Henry Alderfer, CoP of PHR program welcomes all
Henry Alderfer, CoP of PHR program welcomes all
Participants with guests
Participants with guests

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