Learning Exchange: Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh

“As legal empowerment practitioners we have no choice but to constantly adapt and study tours like the one Namati organized for us in Bangladesh is exactly what our profession needs to share ideas and question our programming assumptions. At the end of the day it’s about serving our beneficiaries and we owe them the best possible service we can provide and that often requires us stepping out of our established comfort zones and listening to the experience of others.”
Sharif Hassanein
Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, Jordan 


“I think now I can move in my work with more insightful and broader perspective of how things could be done in many different ways, along with me knowing that I have the Namati network with its community discussion panel, resource library, etc. to support me if I have any queries.”
Samaa Et-Turkey
Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, Egypt


“The experience was immense for me. Every new day was an improvement over the previous one. Namati has done a great job in selecting BNWLA. As an organization, it is very important for us to improve the service we render to the vulnerable group that access our services. It is also very essential for us to retain the people (paralegals) who render these services for free and their various communities. As a programme manager, it is my duty to design and implement community and victim centered paralegal programme and as an individual and a paralegal, it’s necessary for me to ensure that I sustain the quality of service I render to the clients who come to me for support. This exchange programme has responded to all the needs stated.”
Fatima Adamu
Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, Nigeria


“This program is very important to me especially as it is the time our organization is about to implement the paralegal program focusing on protecting violence against women. It was a very informative program that exceeded my expectations. The Victim Support Centre and One-stop Crisis Centre approach are very comprehensive and worth advocating for.”
Zaw Min Naung
United Nations Development Programme, Myanmar


In November of 2015, Namati partnered with Bangladesh National Woman Lawyer’s Association (BNWLA) to host a 16-day learning exchange. The exchange focused on women’s empowerment, combatting gender-based violence and the use of paralegals in expanding women’s access to justice.

Participants came from around the globe (see list below). Some attended to improve evaluation methods for large, decades-old paralegal programs, while others were working on expanding fledgling programs in difficult political contexts. There was a tremendous amount of inspirational dialogue and peer-to-peer learning together with our accomplished hosts at BNWLA. From site visits to Victim Support and One-stop Crisis Centers to local government youth-led paralegal programs to analyzing strategies to reform personal status laws, everyone left with new perspectives and plans to incorporate what they had learned in their future work.

An exchange participant from Myanmar, Nant Thi Thi Oo, wrote about her experience and the impact it had on both her and her organization. You can read her blog here.

For more information about our learning exchanges, please contact exchanges@namati.org, or visit the learning exchange page.



The 16-day learning exchange hosted participants from the following organizations:


A second group of participants working within Oxfam GB’s Middle East Gender Equality Programme also joined for 11 days, with participants from: