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The incidence of Gender-based violence (GBV) in Bangladesh was not known for a long time. In 2011 UNFPA together with the National Statistical Office undertook the first ever Violence Against Women Survey (VAW Survey), which brought to light unexpectedly high levels of violence. 87% of ever married women reported to have experienced some form of violence in their life time.

UNFPA is therefore working together with national partners to ensure that cases of GBV are recognized and dealt with adequately. Furthermore UNFPA works to:

  • Strengthen the health sector response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV), including improving tracking and reporting systems within the health services on VAW
  • Build capacities of relevant ministries and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to deliver harmonised and comprehensive services to victims of SGBV

- Increase coverage, improve quality, and enhance sustainability of services (shelter support, counselling, livelihood training for rehabilitation, reference to medical / legal support)

- Strengthen system to allow maximum coordination and cooperation amongst all relevant survivor/victim empowerment role players in different sectors

  • Build the capacities of law enforcement agencies (judiciary and police) to protect women from violence, ensure redress and reparations and promote human rights

UNFPA is also leading a flagship initiative with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA) to improve sexual and reproductive health and GBV prevention and protection for employees in the ready-made garment industry.