Press Releases & Media Coverage

The Campus Hero Café: Engaging Young Men and Boys in the Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and the Prevention of Violence in Bangladesh

This project explored the linkages between traditional, harmful norms of masculinity, the stigma around sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the perpetration of violence against women and girls in three districts in Bangladesh. Due to harmful, learned messages about what it means to be a man and the societal taboo on sexuality, young men and boys in Bangladesh do not openly seek information about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Instead, many learn sexual behaviors and attitudes through watching pornography, which is increasingly widespread with the increased access to mobile phones and internet throughout the country. Pornography teaches men and boys harmful attitudes and behaviors around their own sexual health and normalizes violence against women and girls. This project responded to these findings with a three-tiered action approach: first, group education sessions for young men and boys through a “Campus Hero Café” to discuss issues related to gender, health, psychology, and sexuality with experts and open up with each other to reflect on their own attitudes and experiences in order to transform their behaviors. Second, community activism was encouraged and implemented by the participants. 

Webinar: Breaking the Silence on Infertility

The webinar presented the outcomes of a collaborative infertility awareness project, supported by Share-Net International, and implemented by IPPF and RedOrange. The webinar showcased produced by the project which featured the stories from Burundi, Bangladesh and Jordan, and included a presentation of the Policy Brief for advocacy on infertility. During the event representatives from Burundi, Colombia and Jordan who shared their experiences, research and advocacy on norms, accessing services and policy changes on infertility in these contexts.

Ms. Dorine Thomissen, Share-Net International
Dr Gitau Mburu, World Health Organization
Dr Nathalie Kapp, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
Dr Marie Thoma, Ass. Prof. Maryland University and a member of the Policy Brief Team
Ms. Ir. Elly Leemhuis, Share-Net Netherlands, member Policy Brief Team
Dr Donavine Uwimana, Executive Director, ABUBEF (Association Burundaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial)
Dr Muntaha Gharaibeh, Prof. MCH, Jordan University, member Policy Brief Team
Prof. Imtiaz Saikh, Prof. Women & Gender, Dhaka University
Dr Carlos Sarria, OB/GYN, Profamilia, Colombia
Ms Rawan Raad, Institute for Reproductive Health and Rights – Sudan

Online live dialogue on “COVID-19 Crisis : Human Rights & The Role

Moderator :

Dr. Sayed Shaikh Imtiaz

Associate Professor and Former Department Head,

Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka.

Chairperson, Trustee Board, UNYSAB

Chairperson, CMMS


Mona M’Bikay Boin

Executive Director

UPR Info Geneva Area, Switzerland.

Zarin Zeba Khan

Gender Equality Advisor FSSP of GAC.

Tanja Doucet

Student of Sustainability Sciences in Lüneburg,

Germany member of the project “Poculum”.

Kyra Haskins

Student of Global Environmental and Sustainability Studies in Lüneburg, Germany Member of the project “EqualTech”.

Jana Schulte Hürmann

Student of Environmental Sciences and Economics in Lüneburg,

Germany Member of the project “Poculum”.

Nayem Molla

Youth Activist

Infertility in SRHR Lens: Policy & Practices

With the assistance of Share-Net Bangladesh, the Centre for Men & Masculinities Studies (CMMS) carried out a study in 2021 titled “Infertility in SRHR Lens: Policy & Practices.” Based on that study, they held an online advocacy workshop where honorable government officials and other relevant stakeholders participated as part of the study. The participants discussed various types & aspects of infertility, what are the existing policies and practices regarding infertility, and how existing SRHR platforms could help to address these issues. Additionally, they pointed out the importance of existing SRHR platforms to mitigate myths and stigmas regarding infertility. #snbd #cmms #infertility #sharenetbd #SRHR

Ignore social stigma of using menstrual cup

At present, menstrual cups have become very popular in ensuring hygiene and comfort during menstruation. It has also gained popularity for being environment-friendly. According to Stewart, E. G (2099), “A menstrual cup is a menstrual hygiene device which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. They are shaped like a bell with a stem or a ring”.

The menstrual cup is eco-friendly. When a pad takes over a hundred years to mix with soils, a menstrual cup leaves nothing to earth at all. One can save a lot of money too because a cup can be used for up to 10 years. However, though it has become popular in many first world countries, women of conservative societies still hesitate to use it due to lack of knowledge. Since the cup is located inside the body, there are questions about the virginity of women. However, it is scientifically proven that there is no question of losing the integrity of women in the use of menstrual cups. Another myth regarding menstrual cup is ‘one size fits all’ whereas in reality this is not true. Moreover, other myths include- one can not use the toilet or swim or exercise while wearing a menstrual cup, it hampers sleep and it can get lost in vagina, it is painful and many others. Although some women use the cup ignoring the social stigma, thousands of women are still confused.  Misinformation about using cups does not allow them to try this new device.

কিশোরদের সচেতনতা

নারী নির্যাতন প্রতিরোধ নিয়ে আমরা অনেক কথাই বলি। বলি আইন প্রণয়ন ও তার বাস্তবায়ন, সচেতনতা বৃদ্ধি, দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি পরিবর্তনসহ নানা কথা। গত দুই দশকে দেশে এ সংক্রান্ত আইন কাঠামো শক্তিশালী হয়েছে। সরকারি, বেসরকারি পর্যায়ে বিভিন্ন উদ্যোগও নেওয়া হয়েছে নারীর প্রতি সহিংসতা রোধে।
কিন্তু বাস্তবতা কী? বাস্তবতা হচ্ছে, নারীর প্রতি সহিংসতা বাড়ছে। দেশের শীর্ষস্থানীয় ১৪টি জাতীয় দৈনিক পত্রিকার আধেয় বিশ্লেষণ করে বাংলাদেশ মহিলা আইনজীবী সমিতি দেখেছে, ২০১৫ সালে নারী ও শিশুর প্রতি সহিংসতা এর আগের বছরগুলোর তুলনায় বেড়েছে ৫ শতাংশ। নির্যাতনের মূল দায় পুরুষের ওপর বর্তালেও নারী নির্যাতন প্রতিরোধে পুরুষের সম্পৃক্ততা ও পুরুষের ইতিবাচক ভূমিকাগুলোর উপস্থাপনা ও প্রচারণার অভাবে নারীর প্রতি পুরুষের দৃষ্টিভঙ্গির যেমন পরিবর্তন আসছে না তেমনি কমছে না নারীর প্রতি সহিংসতার মাত্রা।
সেন্টার ফর ম্যান অ্যান্ড ম্যাসকুলিনিটিজ স্টাডিজ (সিএমএসএস) তাই নারী নির্যাতন রোধে পুরুষকে সক্রিয় করে নির্যাতন প্রতিরোধে উদাহরণ সৃষ্টি করতে কাজ শুরু করেছে। প্রিয় বাবা বা ভালো স্বামীর ভূমিকায় নিয়ে আসার কাজ করছে গবেষণাধর্মী এ প্রতিষ্ঠানটি।

Brave Men Campaign: ‘Real Men’ fight for equality

When we think about women’s rights, a stereotypical image of protests, conferences and meetings led by women often come to mind. But can we imagine hundreds of school-going boys taking to the streets, expressing their pledge to prevent violence against women (VAW) and girls? Not only that – imagine them visiting every household in their village and encouraging their neighbours to end gender-based violence. This revolutionary picture can be seen in many of the villages of Pabna, Sirajganj and Natore districts of Bangladesh. 

It is the outcome of Dr. Sayed Saikh Imtiaz’s BraveMen Campaign (BMC), an action research that tries to develop the most effective strategies to end VAW involving young men and boys in schools. The campaign is being run by Dr. Imtiaz’s team at the Centre for Men and Masculinities Studies (CMMS) in more than 50 schools in rural areas and also in Dhaka.

পরিবারে চাই ‘প্রিয় বাবা’

পাবনার ফরিদপুর উপজেলার আগপুংগলি গ্রামে সেনাবাহিনীর অবসরপ্রাপ্ত সদস্য নুরুল ইসলামের ছেলের বউ শাপলা রানি। নিজের পছন্দের বিয়েতে ধর্মের বিষয়টি তেমন একটা বাধা হয়ে দাঁড়ায়নি বলে জানালেন শাপলা।
গত সোমবার ঢাকা থেকে টেলিফোনে কথা হয় শাপলার সঙ্গে। তিনি এখন মোটরসাইকেলে করেই কর্মক্ষেত্র থেকে বাড়ি ফেরেন। তিনি বলেন, ‘এখন পর্যন্ত আমার শ্বশুর বা সরকারি উচ্চমাধ্যমিক বিদ্যালয়ে কর্মরত স্বামী কোনো কাজে কোনো ধরনের প্রতিবন্ধকতা তৈরি করেননি। শাশুড়িও শৌখিন মানুষ। মোটরসাইকেল চালাই, তা নিয়ে গ্রামে কয়েকজন খারাপ কথা বললেও খুব একটা গায়ে মাখিনি। মেয়েদের এগিয়ে যাওয়ার জন্য পরিবারের, বিশেষ করে শ্বশুর ও অন্যদের সহযোগিতা প্রয়োজন।’

The Best Job a Man can have

“Allah has given me three daughters. They are ten, six and two years old respectively. In my village daughters are often seen as liability and treated harshly. My neighbours and friends also laugh at me for having no son,” says Abul Kalam, a farmer living in a remote village called Haripur under Gangachora upazila of Rangpur district. “My mother used to rebuke my wife for giving birth to three daughters, one after another. Out of my anxiety about my daughters’ future, I also used to act roughly with my wife and daughters. I used to think that I was in deep crisis and I have no other option except for begging or robbing, to feed my family,”

What’s Working Honor Roll: These Young Boys Are Giving A New Face To Women’s Rights Activism

While most people think of women’s rights activism and see a group of only women, one program in Bangladesh is attempting to change that perception.

The BraveMen Campaign (BMC), led by Dr. Sayed Saikh Imtiaz and organized by the National Human Rights Commission, is now functioning in more than 50 schools throughout Bangladesh. The campaign urges young boys to get involved in fighting for women’s rights and ending violence against women. By getting the boys participating in events and activities to support women’s causes, Dr. Imtiaz is slowly “changing perceptions of gender,” The Daily Star’s Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan writes.