“Make it Happens- translating into actions”- reflection of IWD celebration

[The author believes late is better than never]

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8th March every year across the globe. In Bangladesh, particularly in development organizations, it is very old practiced event. But it was new in Practical Action, Bangladesh while we (Gender working Group Bangladesh) started taking preparation for this. But the event was able to convey some common messages to all staff (irrespective age, position and religion). At the end of the event, one of our drivers said,
“First time an event happened in Practical Action, Bangladesh which connected us, and we felt that we also have something to do.”

Theme of the event
There were careful efforts to make event inclusive- to celebrate it with all colleagues (staff, drivers, and support staff including cleaners). Therefore, raising gender awareness and sensitivity were included in all messages of the event. The following elements of the event made the day special and colorful.

Wall Magazine:
The Wall Magazine was comprised of short story, poem, statement, short narratives and photos. Colleagues (all levels) of Practical Action, Bangladesh wrote about the day and women’s rights. The contributions were highly reflexive.
Wall Magazine

Inauguration of Wall Magazine by Acting CD
Screening Video on Gender and Open discussion:
Three short videos were screened. One was on International Women’s Day- which takes us through brief history of the day with an emphasis on Bangladesh. Second video screening was famous and well accepted Bengali liberal feminist Begum Rokeya (1880-1932). She was an literary person, educationist, social reformer and literary person as well. The video stressed on girls rights for education. During open discussion, Dr Faruk Ul Islam (Acting Country Director) appreciated the video selection as it reflects not only the consequences but also the causes of the women struggles and movement. He also specifically mentioned that the selection of video was appropriate as it takes us back to the roots of unequal society. Final video was on inauguration of minimum standard documents and gender policy.

Sharing minimum standard documents and gender Policy
Gender Focal Person shared the contents of the minimum standard documents. He also shared how these documents will be used in our works (developing project proposal to impact assessment). He also cited some examples how all staff and partners can contribute in towards a just society.
GFP Bangladesh_ How to implement Minm Stnds Docs  and Gender Policy
Singing Song on Gender Equality
Conveying message through music has remained a strong communication tool, particularly when message deals with cultural sensitive issue. Keeping this in mind and to make the day more joyful, to communicate main theme of the day to different levels of staff, one of the songs written by Rabindranath Tagore was sung by the colleagues of the office. It was useful to communicate with colleagues who are in support services and get less chance to participate in any event like this.
Wearing purple dress and cutting cake:
Believing in gender equality and agreeing with the theme of the event, colleague wore purple color/touched dress. This made the event very colorful.

Senior Management’s commitment
For applying any policy or establishing any (good) practices in any organization requires political will or commitment of the senior management. The day took the opportunity to engage senior colleagues and to share their commitments in front of all staff. During inauguration of the wall magazine and opening speech of the day, Acting Country Director Dr. Faruk Ul Islam has mentioned that senior management will provide all required support to mainstream gender into all our policy to practice and ensures colleagues and partners take it seriously.
Cake Cutting
GWG Bangladesh
The event did not mean simply an event to staff, rather it was a breakthrough. More light and efforts will be put on this issue. Thus, in brief, even it was late but it was gorgeous and successful event.

One response to ““Make it Happens- translating into actions”- reflection of IWD celebration”

  1. Bangla song Says:

    I like looking through a post that will make men and women think.

    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

Leave a reply