Bangladesh

Published 8/25/2016 | Updated 8/30/2016

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The economic development in Bangladesh in recent years has lifted millions of people out of poverty, and Bangladesh has successfully reduced fertility rates and maternal mortality. But inequalities remain, especially between rural and urban areas. Access to sexual and reproductive health is limited, and violations of sexual rights are common. Abortion is available only under certain circumstances. Homosexuality is illegal and sexuality education very limited.

RFSU has partnerships with five organisations in Bangladesh.

The Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) works with issues such as family planning, youth friendly clinics and sexuality education.

The Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP) and Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) have worked together for more than twenty years with issues such as the right to safe abortion and maternal mortality. Part of their operations include providing services for women and the education of healthcare professionals with the aim of decreasing maternal mortality rates and providing safe abortions for women wishing to terminate their pregnancy. Both organisations have operations in many parts of Bangladesh and offer services to poverty-stricken persons living in areas with little access to reproductive healthcare.

RFSU also works together with Bandhu (Social Welfare Society) with the program “Health and Rights of LGBT-people”. Bandhu is an organization that works for human rights and equal access to healthcare regardless of gender and sexual orientation. Bandhu is a national NGO in Bangladesh that was founded in 1997 and has worked with, among other issues, HIV and AIDS prevention. RFSU has, for the last couple of years, collaborated with Bandhu through the Sida backed LGBT network, ”Alliance in South Asia”. Bandhu works to support the rights of LGBT-persons and has provided healthcare services for men who have sex with men (MSM) for many years. RFSU’s collaboration with Bandhu mainly consists of strengthening and developing Bandhu’s capacity to identify and reach new groups in the LGBT community.

In 2015, RFSU started collaborating with Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, (BLAST). BLAST is a human rights organisation which provides people with legal assistance, and educates and advocates within the legal system about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

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