Women discover their rights

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 November, 1994, 12:00am

BANGLADESH farmer Munitaz has seen her life improve dramatically since she joined a women's programme supported by Oxfam. The programme gave Munitaz and a group of other women a loan which they have invested in a water pump.

The pump has brought the water needed to increase her family's harvest and for the first time in years, she, her husband and five children have enough to eat. Even more important, the progress has given her new skills and confidence.

In villages like Munitaz's, women have far fewer rights than men - boys consistently get twice as much food as girls, and have a much better chance of going to school.

The programme Munitaz joined offers women counselling, training in literacy and agriculture, and the opportunity to take out small loans. The objective is to increase women's confidence and make them more aware of their rights.

Last year, 24,000 women joined these programmes in Bangladesh. It costs just $132 to fund one woman in the programme for a whole year.