Training on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women Held in Rangamati

On 18-20 October 2015, Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network (BIWN), Society for Integrated Women’s Progress and Jagarani Mahila Samity jointly organized a three day training titled “Training on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls” at Taungya Conference Hall in Rangamati. The training was targeted at 30 indigenous human rights defenders from Rangamati, both female and male, to equip them with national and international human rights mechanisms, advocacy strategies, leadership skills and tools for combatting violence against indigenous women.

Jyotirinda Bodhipriya Larma, Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council (CHTRC), was present in the inaugural session of the training while Pallab Chakma, executive director of Kapaeeng Foundation presided it over. Barrister Raja Devasish Roy, circle chief of Chakma Circle; Nirupa Dewan, member of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh; Shakti Pada Tripura, vice-president, CHT Headman Network; and Moni Chakma, chairman of Barkal Upazila Parishad were also present in the inaugural session as honorable guests.

The three day training was comprised of nine technical sessions, each covering different issues related to empowerment of indigenous women and thus combatting ongoing violence against them. The technical sessions were on, inter alia, basic concepts of human rights; international human rights mechanisms related to indigenous women; situation of indigenous women in Bangladesh; leadership of indigenous women; concepts and practical implications of gender; monitoring and documentation of human rights situation; women rights movement across indigenous societies and social change; concepts and strategies for advocacy and access to legal justice system. Different relevant experts including UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples member, also chief of Chakma Circle, Barrister Raja Devasish Roy; indigenous leader Mangal Kumar Chakma; development practitioner Rezwanul Karim; Dhaka University faculty member Fahmida Yesmin Ripa; Advocate Chanchu Chakma conducted the sessions of the training.

Alongside the trainers, during different sessions, indigenous women rights activists shared the plight of indigenous women, and their experiences and strategies of working on different issues related to promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous women, including the issue of violence against indigenous women. Following the technical sessions, a strategic plan was developed, which will be implemented over next two years or so with the aim to combat ongoing violence against indigenous women in Rangamati and Bangladesh at large.

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