Bangladesh produced its first WPS National Action Plan in 2019 to cover 2019-2022.
The 2019-2022 NAP has three overarching objectives, each of which is supported by specific results. The objectives are further developed in a matrix that sets out which agency is responsible for implementation of the objectives and activities.
1 Prevention: To engage more communities and institutions in initiatives to promote social cohesion, as well as prevent conflict, violent extremism and gender discrimination.
· Key government institutions have increased their awareness and knowledge of the root causes of conflict and violent extremism and how to address them, including an understanding of the role women play in preventing conflict and violent extremism.
· Key government institutions have evidence on gender-sensitive policies and model initiatives that are effective in promoting social cohesion, tolerance and diversity including gender equality, and that can be scaled up.
· Dialogue platforms and networks of women leaders and civil society actors have been established to strengthen social cohesion, social harmony and the prevention of conflict and violent extremism.
2 Participation: To increase women’s meaningful participation in maintaining peace and security, including peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, peacekeeping missions, disaster management and response, humanitarian assistance, and the prevention of violent extremism.
· Women and men have increased awareness of the importance of women’s participation in decision making related to peace and security issues.
· Laws, policies and guidelines are in place to enable women’s increased participation in decision-making positions related to peace and security issues.
· Women’s capacity for leadership is enhanced regarding peace and security issues at the community, sub-national and national levels.
3 Protection, Relief and Recovery: To protect women’s safety and well-being and to ensure that their needs,priorities and rights are addressed during natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
· The capacity of the security sector, law enforcement agencies (police, military, first responders, medical staff etc.)and local government is enhanced to be more gender-responsive during disasters,emergencies and humanitarian crises, including the capacity to protect women and men from sexual exploitation and abuse during deployment.
· The knowledge of government and civil society stakeholders, including first responders in disaster and emergency situations,is enhanced to protect women’s safety and well-being in peace and security settings.
Bangladesh is currently facing the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, where significant humanitarian aid is needed to help women and girls fleeing from Myanmar – many of whom have survived rape and sexual violence, as a result of which nearly 2,000 are pregnant. Bangladesh is now currently working with humanitarian partners to create safe, inclusive spaces for the women and girls residing in camps.
This 2019-2022 NAP builds on the country’s prior gender legislation and action plans – including those on preventing violence against women and children, human trafficking, development and disaster policy.
Civil society involvement in the development of the NAP
The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a participatory approach that included civil society organisations as well as divisional and district-level consultations with grassroots women’s organisations. This took the form of multiple consultations, a national seminar, and a validation workshop. Recommendations by grassroots organisations – such as Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha – were taken into account when drafting the NAP.
UN Peacekeeping Statistics
Bangladesh is the largest contributor of UN peacekeepers, contributing 7278 personnel to UN operations in May 2023. The table below sets out the ranks of these peacekeepers.
Women’s role in peacekeeping
Of the activities laid out in the NAP, many tackle the representation of women in peacebuilding and armed forces. Specific examples include:
- Enhancing the capacity of the security sector, law enforcement agencies (police, military, first responders, medical staff etc.) and local government to be more gender-responsive during disasters, emergencies and humanitarian crises, including the capacity to address gender-based violence.
- Strengthening the capacity for UN peacekeeping troops deployed to protect women and men from sexual exploitation and abuse during deployment.
- Enhancing the knowledge of government and civil society stakeholders – including first responders in disaster and emergency situations – to protect women’s safety and well-being in peace and security settings.
- Increase women’s meaningful participation in decision making on peace and security, including peacebuilding, peacekeeping missions, and preventing violent extremism.
- Increasing recruitment of women peacekeepers – and the armed forces and police.
- Increasing women’s and men’s awareness of the importance of women’s participation in decision-making – particularly relating to peace and security issues.
- Implementing laws, policies and guidelines to enable women’s increased participation in decision-making positions related to peace and security issues.
- Enhancing women’s capacity for leadership regarding peace and security issues at the community, subnational and national levels.
References and sources
Bangladesh WPS NAP2019-2022: NAP WPS CLEAN Report Design all page (mofa.gov.bd)
Contribution of Uniformed Personnel to UN by Country, Mission, and Personnel Type (May 2023): 05-Missions Detailed By Country
United Nations Peacekeeping. (May 2023): Troop and police contributors | United Nations Peacekeeping: Troop and police contributors | United Nations Peacekeeping