Signing ceremony of the Joint UN Programme on “Violence Against Women”

Signing ceremony of the Joint UN Programme on “Violence Against Women” was held today, 10 December 2009 at Balcony Room, Hotel Sonargaon.

Press release | 10 December 2009

$7,997,378 donation to address violence against women in

Bangladesh by UNDP/Spain MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F)

Dhaka, 10th December, 2009: Violence against Women (VAW) is a very serious socio-cultural-economic problem in Bangladesh and occurs both within the domestic and working arenas, but remains largely under-reported and investigated. Signing ceremony of the Joint UN Programme on “Violence Against Women” was held today, 10 December 2009 at Balcony Room, Hotel Sonargaon. UNDP/Spain MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) has approved $7,997,378 for Bangladesh for this joint UN programme to address violence against women in Bangladesh. The funding will support Bangladesh Government to address “Violence against Women” in Bangladesh through nine UN Agencies-UNFPA,ILO,UNICEF,WHO,UNDP,IOM,UNESCO,UNIFEM and UNAIDS while UNFPA will be the lead agency for this Joint Programme on VAW. The three years programme begins in January 2010 and will end on 2012. On behalf of the United Nations, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh and the Secretary, ERD on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh signed the programme document. Representatives of the participating UN Agencies and the implementing ministries also signed the document at the ceremony.

The eleven ministries of the Government of Bangladesh will implement the project to achieve the objectives of the programme. Implementing ministries are: Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs; Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives; and Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment.

The Outcome(s) of the joint programme will be: 1) Policies and legal framework aimed at preventing violence against women (VAW) and protecting and supporting survivors adopted, implemented and monitored, 2) Social attitudes and behavioural changes effected to reduce VAW and discriminatory practices and 3) Conducive environment created, and capacities enhanced, for providing support and care for women and girls who are vulnerable to, and/or have survived, violence.

Within the overall framework of the programme, the ILO, in collaboration with its tripartite constituents and partners, will promote the adoption of the ILO Code of Practice by the different organizations and enterprises. More specifically, the ILO intervention will help to:

increase awareness among constituents and social partners to prevent sexual harassment at work; and

develop effective means of combating sexual harassment in the workplaces.

Long working hours, stress and masculinity issues are also among the subjects to be addressed.

All these would facilitate exchange of experience among constituents on how to strengthen local and national initiatives against sexual harassment at work.

Ultimately this will help in the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment and violence in the world of work.