There are very few organizations solely focusing on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), menstrual hygiene, health management, and women empowerment. Asmani Jubo Nari Foundation is one of them that stands out in this sector of socio-health development to support women and their families. It commenced its journey in 2016, in a challenging environment like Araji Shimulbari, a small village of Nilphamari.
Shirin Akhter Asa founded Asmani Jubo Foundation with a philosophy of ensuring gender equality through education, economic independence, sexual reproductive health awareness, and social empowerment. The foundation has initiated a project of an active small factory, where 36 experienced adolescent girls produce sanitary napkins used for menstruation. It hopes to leaven the factory into a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in the future, as the founder visions women’s economic empowerment as well as breaking taboos. The foundation has 12 union-based youth networks in Jaldhaka Upazila to execute its vision successfully. Each network consists of 15 young women working relentlessly on awareness-raising campaigns related to menstrual hygiene and SRHR. This foundation is also working on preventing violence against women and children, including child marriage. Its young female volunteers regularly provide counselling to children and their parents about the negative effects of child marriage. The volunteers even take necessary steps to prevent child marriage by notifying local administration and law enforcement departments, as well as holding perpetrators accountable for their heinous crimes.
Its initiatives to protect underprivileged women during the COVID-19 pandemic were also praiseworthy. During that crucial time, they employed 100 girls and women in their factory to meet their financial needs. They also distributed free masks, sanitizers, and sanitary napkins to 5000 women. Asmani Jubo Nari foundation looks forward to establishing gender equality and equity for women. The foundation plans on increasing the literacy rate and reducing child marriage for girls through different initiatives. It has already laid out plans to create a committee to work against sexual harassment, digital awareness-raising campaigns, and training on sexual & reproductive health management. It also intends to provide life skills and leadership training to 100 adolescent girls and young women to increase women’s empowerment in its locality. Its members aspire to participate in relevant national policy discussions and contribute more to the SDG goal of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.