M4C Celebrates International Women's Day with a Pledge to Facilitate Gender Equality in Char Contexts 

On 8 March 2022, Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma, and Teesta Chars (M4C) celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) with the women of chars.

In collaboration with ACI Formulations Limited (ACIFL), M4C organised a views exchange and celebratory event at the Bishwanath char, Tepamodhupur, Kaunia, Rangpur. Ms Shusmita Anis, Managing Director, ACIFL, joined the occasion as chief guest and Mr Subir Chowdhury, Head of Research and Development, ACIFL. They appreciated women's contribution to the evolution of agriculture and shared how ACIFL will try to ensure quality agro-inputs for the char markets. Ms Anis also highlighted the importance of education and economic empowerment through comprehensive agricultural practices. Five self-reliant women from the chars shared their success stories. 

Ms Lal Banu Begum, Livestock-Service Provider from Chilmari, highlighted that providing livestock services in the village has given her an income source and enhanced her participation in decision-making within her household and the community. She emphasised the importance of women's rights in freely sharing their individual opinions. The opinion exchange session also provided an open platform for the char women to express and share different challenges they encountered. Over 30 women from the char participated in the event and shared various issues and struggle from their daily lives.

Ms Shahina Begum, a female farmer, shared the connectivity challenges char women suffer from, explaining how the lack of infrastructural support prevents them from accessing markets and selling their quality products at fair prices. Further issues brought to light included the lack of healthcare services for women, especially antenatal and maternity care.

Concurrently, M4C participated in a talk show titled "Gender Equality" organised by Lighthouse Bangladesh on one of the leading national television channels-ATN Bangla. Md. Abdul Awal, Team Leader, M4C, highlighted women's vulnerability in chars, including healthcare and infrastructure constraints.

M4C's IWD celebrations concluded with a pledge to facilitate char contexts towards gender equality for creating a sustainable tomorrow. 

M4C is a project mandated by the Embassy of Switzerland and Ministry of LGRD and Cooperatives, Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and implemented by Swisscontact in collaboration with Rural Development Academy (RDA), Bogura.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C)
To reduce vulnerability and increase wellbeing of vulnerable and marginalised char dwellers living in the northern char region of Bangladesh. Chars are riverine land, susceptible to erosion and soil deposition, which remain disconnected from mainland either seasonally or throughout the year. Due to this unique geographical positioning,...