University | News
LATEST NEWS UPDATE
AUW Alumnae Win $9,500 to Launch Campaign RED
Dhaka, Bangladesh
27, Nov, 2016

November 27, 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh – Three AUW alumnae won Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BLYC)’s 2016 Youth Leadership Prize. Syeda Farjana Ahmed, Rubina Akter, and Rimu Byadya – all from Bangladesh – won USD $9,500 to implement their social change project entitled “Campaign RED, Realizing Empowerment for Dignity.” Campaign RED aims to mobilize more than 5000 students, educators, and community leaders from rural, impoverished areas of Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, to raise awareness of women’s reproductive health and to improve sanitation facilities in ten area high schools.

According to Rimu (pictured above), Like many other South Asian countries, menstruation is a highly stigmatized issue in Bangladesh. Adolescent girls hardly have any space to discuss their reproductive health, and many are taught to obey outdated misconceptions and myths about menstrual hygiene. Without the necessary knowledge and sanitation facilities to address menstrual hygiene in schools, many young women are forced to prematurely end their formal education, marry early, and risk poor maternal health in the future.”

Campaign RED ultimately aims to address infrastructural and social barriers to women’s participation in school and the workplace. Rimu, Rubina, and Syeda will train local volunteers to lead workshops which destigmatize menstruation and educate both men and women on the importance of women’s reproductive health and hygiene. Rimu, Rubina, and Syeda will also provide area high schools with disposal bins for feminine hygiene products and mobilize local entrepreneurs to manufacture and supply low-cost sanitary napkins for area women to purchase. We envision a society where women are confident and encouraged to realize their full potential,” Rimu shares.

About the Alumnae:

Rimu graduated with a Public Health degree from AUW and currently works for the BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Programme. Rubina graduated with a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics degree from AUW and a Master’s degree in International Relations from South Asian University in New Delhi, India; she currently works for the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Syeda also graduated with a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics degree from AUW and a Master’s degree in International Relations from South Asian University; she is a Researcher at the BRAC University James P. Grant School of Public Health.