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Nari Jibon: Empowering women of Bangladesh

Empowerment of women in Bangladesh is a important social issue and the citizen journalists of the Nari Jibon project from Bangladesh are trying to do so learning valuable computer, business, and language skills besides learning about citizen media tools such as blogging, photography and video. With these skills they are able to empower themselves with more opportunities.

Romina Oliverio, a good friend of Rising Voices had this to say about the Nari Jibon project:

Founded in 2005 by Professor Kathryn B Ward, Nari Jibon is a skills training program for Bangladeshi girls and women who seek to learn new skills to improve their lives.

I came to know the ladies at Nari Jibon via their blogs, and through their words and images is ultimately how I fell for their earnest and feisty spirit.

Reading their all-too-vivid portrayals of daily life in Bangladesh, one is given a fresh, first-hand account into their realities. The women explore their surroundings with eyes peeled, constant curiosity gripping them, and their eagerness to share tales of their country and themselves with their growing base of loyal readers knows no bounds. [..]

The Nari Jibon project is, without a doubt, a representation of citizen journalism with a strong beating heart and a bucket full of guts. But most importantly, Nari Jibon is a true testament to the empowerment of women – and this tireless group of ladies is a glowing inspiration to women everywhere.


Kathy Ward and some women of Nari Jibon

In honor of Blog Action Day on October 15th Blog Talk Radio held an all day talkathon. Another well wisher of Global Voices Shawn mentioned:

Bangladesh 80% of the country earns less than $2 per day. That’s not even enough to buy a couple of minutes on the internet most of the time. But this NGO is trying to get women, working class women, online and blogging so that you’re not just hearing from activists but you’re hearing from people in that situation on the ground in Bangladesh.


Shawn showing his video that he took from sidr affected areas to the Nari Jibon bloggers

Nari Jibon bloggers also celebrated the Blog Action day 2008. This years theme was poverty.

Hira, who likes to create graphics made this logo:

Nari Jibon students discussed about poverty in a blog post:

Selina Akter Zeba thinks that the major problems of increasing poverty in Bangladesh are over population, illiteracy and unemployment. Her voices were echoed by other bloggers who also think that the population boom and the lack of education are the main causes of poverty in the country.

Ishrat Jahan thinks that many in rural areas believe in superstition. She thinks to free people from poverty the behavior and mentality of people should be changed. She also thinks illiteracy is a big issue.

Asia Afrin Anni talks about the awareness of people:

The main work to remove poverty is to make people conscious about the effects of it.

Fabliha Tasnim Hridi thinks that the government is taking many necessary steps to remove poverty.

Such as: aware people for what are the disadvantages of increasing population, Start free education, Arrange free treatment etc. We should try to help the poor besides the government initiatives.


Street kids: Photo taken by Zannat

Zannat Ara Amzad writes about the ways to remove poverty:

Our lands should be cultivated scientifically. Scientific method and modern farming should be introduced. The high birth rate should be reduced. Animal husbandry, crop diversification, fishers, poultry, horticulture, agriculture, dairy farming should be introduced and all these things will go a long way to alleviate poverty.

Sujan discusses about child right and proposes:

(On the occasion of) “Blog action day 2008 — Poverty” and “World Child Right Day” I want to propose every people to take responsibility for one poor child or family.

Meanwhile don't forget to check out more blogger profiles posted in Nari Jibon blog. Nari Jibon bloggers continues to post articles in their blogs.

Kazi Rafiq portrays a fisher women. Asia Afrin Anni writes about a journey by boat. Ayesha Sanjida Synthia remembers a memorable day. Jainub Khanam tells about ten scary days of her child's illness.

Jesmin Lita tries to improve her English, using her blog:

I maintain a diary and opened a blogsite for English writing practice. I write my every day’s activities in English. And sometimes I publish my blog writing on my blogsite.

Sufia Eti writes about the woes of general transportation of the country from her experience.

Mohtarimun Nahar [Bipa] heads the English section of Nari Jibon project. She describes the work of Nari Jibon:

Here women can take courses on English, Bengali, Tailoring, Computer Office Program, Graphics and Photography etc. Most of the students are of school, college and university levels. Also sex workers can get admitted in English, computers or any other sections in Nari Jibon.

Here we have Nari [Women] Cyber Café only for girls and women. Students submit their assignments to the related teachers and practice English language and Computer in this cyber café.

Stella
Visiting teacher Stella

Bipa also writes about the visiting teachers of Nari Jibon project who are social workers from abroad and making good use of their time. Read the blog post of Kira Kairakin from Venezuela to learn what Nari Jibon meant for her:

Nari Jibon has made me feel more responsible about it, to value it in another way and I am grateful for that.

Nari Jibon got some press coverage recently. Articles about the project and the blogging activities of the women were published in BDNews24.com, The Daily Sangbad [bn] & The Daily JaiJaiDin [bn].

On 29th August '08 the 4th blog workshop of Nari Jibon project was held. David Sasaki of Rising Voices was there and conducted the workshop. 15 bloggers and 4 staffs of Nari Jibon participated in this workshop. You can read about the event in this post. Here is a video of the workshop:

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