What does this actually mean in this day and age?

Women’s reproductive rights are at the fore-front of discourse again. In Ireland women came from all over the world to ensure that their vote was counted to change the constitution with regards to a right to abortion, whereas the US government has put a moratorium to support family planning. In Bangladesh women have had access to comprehensive medical services, which are only just being availed by Rohingya refugee women. Examining the right of a woman to make choices over her own body is a starting point for understanding issues surrounding consent and agency for women and girls. Many programmes want to focus on women’s empowerment. How can we make sure that changes are brought about that are not superficial, but actually address discrimination and inequity.

Date: 16 August 2018

Time: 06:00 PM

Venue: British Council, 5 Fuller Road, Dhaka 1000

Panel Discussion

Sabina Faiz Rashid has a bachelor’s master’s and a PhD in medical anthropology and public health from The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. She has worked in Bangladesh since 1993, at BRAC, Grameen Trust and Unicef. She joined the James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, in 2004 and was appointed Dean and professor in 2013. She has over 20 years of experience in ethnographic and qualitative research on gender, sexual and reproductive health, and sexuality. One of her key interests is how social norms, gender relationships and expectations are changing in rapidly urban and other spaces. In May 2018, she received the “Heroines of Health 2018” award for their work and dedication to vulnerable population in Bangladesh.

Shireen Huq is an activist in the women’s movement in Bangladesh, a founder member of Naripokkho, and for over 25 years, a resource person and trainer on gender, rights and development issues in Bangladesh and elsewhere. She has also worked for Danida, Bangladesh’s Human Rights and Good Governance Programme: from 1987 to 2001, as its adviser, women’s development; and from 2003 to 2006 as deputy programme coordinator.

Saba Zariv is the Gender-based Violence (GBV) Sub-sector Coordinator for the Rohingya crisis response in Cox Bazar District led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She joined the UNFPA Bangladesh country office in February 2017 as coordinator of the Gender-based Violence Cluster to support natural disaster response efforts led by the Government. Ms. Zariv maintains over 9-years of experience implementing gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response programming in development contexts and complex humanitarian emergencies in the South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. 


Sadaf Saaz is a women’s rights advocate, poet, writer and entrepreneur. She runs Jatrik, an arts management organization. She is also Director and Producer of the Dhaka Lit Fest.