‘Girls who refuse to give up-The Aparajitas’
She Endeavors, a non-profit social Startup is an international localized information repository aimed at empowering women and making them leaders. The vision is that Women with required awareness can help themselves in critical areas of interest while the aim is to empower women with information and available support systems to building content for women rights, health precautions, mental health, and career. Building expert board for Women rights, Health, Psychological, Careers and to promote Community Awareness Workshops through partnerships is also what it aimed at. She Endeavors is associated with ten other countries. In Bangladesh, it started its journey recently with the title She Endeavors-Aparajita. Upoma Ahmad, being the Chairman of She Endeavors-Aparajita, has a team of some girls who work for women and SDG 5. Four of them shared their journey how they struggled to achieve their places and their journey with She Endeavors -Aparajita.
"Since my childhood, my parents always encouraged me to involve myself in many things. I participated in fields such as singing, dancing, acting, and modeling among many others. I faced numerous obstacles while growing up. These constraints shaped my ambitions and gave me the enthusiasm to make contributions to the society. My family taught me how to stay happy and believe in myself no matter the situation. "Some of the bizarre things I faced while growing up include being judged by people because of my gender.
For instance, when I performed exemplary, they would say it's because I am overly cheerful which influenced the teacher to award me good grades! Many girls presumed me being pretty was the major factor for my selection as the head girl in my college! It is unfortunate that our patriarchal society thinks women are not capable of any intellectual work and should be valued only for their beauty. Even now, some low minded people still think that way. Most people lack proper knowledge about the concept of gender equality. Besides, I faced online and offline harassment a lot of times & was able to successfully punish the abusers. I felt the urge to change this misconception."
"After being selected as the only Global Champion for Women Economic Empowerment from Bangladesh by the United Nations' Empower Women, I officially began working on women empowerment in my community.
I think that She Endeavors -Aparajita will help us do our desired work. There are many strict ICT laws implemented by Bangladesh government but unfortunately many women are not aware of these things and hence they keep silent. This very silence is increasing the number of criminals. So I believe She Endeavors-Aparajita will help us reach those women who need our support in any aspect related to their problems or skill development and career building.
I was growing up in a rural area where good girls never say "No" to their parents. If they said, you don't have the right to do then we have to say that okay. From childhood I faced many bizarre abuses, uttered by my near and dear ones. I had to stay all the time at home because people said bad things to me .It sometimes happened that when I was in my class, one of my family members called me and said, you have to come home right now because we have a proposal of marriage for you and I had to go home leaving my class. That's the way I have been growing up. When I left home for my admission test coaching, no one supported me on that except my mother. There was a time when I didn't get any financial support or anything else. I cried all night and the next morning I started my journey as usual with a smile. That's how I achieved the place where I am now.
My mother always said to me, "Don't look back never or ever, you have to think that no one is for you and even your mother also .You have to be your own guide".
I didn't find any superhero in my life, so I became one".
I always looked up for a platform which works for women and their rights. I have a passion to do something for women. I don't want other women to face what I faced at an early age.
I think She Endeavors -Aparajita will help the women of Bangladesh realize their basic rights and will make a platform to stand as women and become human being not a burden.
Bangladesh is a developing country. Half of its total population is women whose socio-economic condition is very low. Still now women have to struggle for modernity, men-women equality, security and their position in the family is very complex.
From She Endeavors-Aparajita we want to give opportunity to be self-reliant. Our mission is to ensure equal rights for women and safe working environment. Yet a lot of people are suffering for cyber crimes but we don't know the proper law against these crimes and appropriate use of it. So we are trying to help them know all kind of things. Through She Endeavors-Aparajita journey, we want to help women by giving them the opportunity to be capable, self-dependent, equipped to fight crime.
The greatest joy is in fulfilling a childhood dream. When I was in Class eight, a female lawyer came to our school to discuss womens rights. The discussion portrayed the picture as to how women are deprived of rights because of being ignorant of their rights. In the course of time, I realized that impediment in personal, social and professional growth in the male dominated society is the reason behind the present inferior and unjust condition of women in the society. Because of my involvement in clubs and organizations in the school, I was familiared with the Millennium Development Goal and the Sustainable Development Goal. Being inspired by my friend, Upoma Ahmed, I joined Evolution 360, which is a SDG 5 based organization.
Joining the Evolution 360, was the start of the journey to establish equal rights for female. I came to know about the circular of an international organization, She Endeavors, through Upoma. I took it as a chance of crossing the national border and step into the international realm. I have received the invitation for an interview shortly after completing the application procedures. After the successful interview procedure, I achieved the position of co-chairperson in the organization. We have successfully launched the first event of the She Endeavors. Special thanks to Upoma Ahmad, Sanjida, Fariha and Tasin for their contribution to the event. With the collaborative efforts of a group of extraordinary and enthusiastic members, She Endeavors will surely go a long way.
The writer, Sanzida Emu, is an alumnus of Dhaka University