Women Empowerment and Child Rights
Rural poor women are vulnerable and disadvantaged group. Patriarchal value, attitudes of men towards women, individual economic status etc. made them subordinate in terms of decision making, participation in social and political affairs. Direct and indirect contribution of women in national progress is not valued and recognized equally like men. Such type of inequality is one of the hindrances to the progress of the nation.
Considering the fact, UST has prioritized gender equality issue in all its project interventions. UST believes that women advancement and women rights issues should be included in every development intervention. Only gender sensitivities can bring about change in attitude and values of society and can create an environment, where women will no longer be considered as vulnerable and disadvantaged group.
Therefore, formation, development and graduation of self- help group of women, GUP by UST are now in the lights of its model of mission. Promotion of grass-root organization of disadvantaged women, Gram Unnayan Parishad (GUP) in all its working areas with the aim of women empowerment towards sustainable community development is the major task of UST.
Gram Unnayan Parishad (GUP) is the rural local governance based "people's organization" of the disadvantaged women at union level. In the first entry to a new village, UST forms Mohila Samity. Mohila Samity takes about 3-4 years to attain maturity. Then they form the Gram Unnayan Parishad. This GUP is locally known as the parallel organization of the Union Parishad.
Each GUP has two bodies i.e. General Council, which is consisted of all the members of all the Mahila Samity in each Union and the Executive Committee, is consisted of President, Secretary, Cashier and eight other Members, which is elected for three years term by direct vote of the members of the General Council. The ultimate goal of UST's work is to materialize the process of women empowerment and Shabolombee Gram (self-help village). Gram Unnayan Parishad (GUP) is the vehicle of women empowerment and Shabolombee Gram.
In order to eliminate gender disparity and ensure social justice to women, UST carried out a numbers of activities during the year. These included rights based courtyard meeting, training on income generation activities, workshops, day observance and development of IEC materials for raising awareness among the people
Being a trained member of self-help women group, they are promoting gender equality in the family and in the community level decision making process. The leaders of GUP are now taking part in local level decision making process with the LGIs and government service-providing organizations.
They also take part in local level advocacy program to increase their scope of services and keep budgetary provision for the development of their society.
Child rights protection and promotion particularly, the poor and vulnerable children is the central focus of UST's Child Rights Program. UST since its inception in 1986, has been working seriously to promote and protect child rights in Bangladesh. It has been disseminating and facilitating UNCRC rules & policy at grass root level.
UST creates opportunity for the poor children for primary schooling in its project areas. The children undergo primary schooling through UST-organized Khelipori Schools. The Khelipori schools get transformed into a full primary school in five years and obtain registration from the government as registered primary schools.
UST has been organizing disadvantaged children and provide them with training and coaching on drama, music, dance, playing musical instruments, operating video , arranging stage drama and other cultural programs.