Support Zaiba to bring bicycles to women living in a Bangladeshi slum
$977 will pay for:
8 shared bicycles and bike riding lessons for 24 young women living in Korail Slum, Dhaka, empowering them to access education, employment and healthcare.
1 out of every 3 people in Bangladesh live below the poverty line. Life is particularly tough for young women living in slum communities. Rates of forced child marriage are high and girls have no access to transport, relying on other people to get them to school, to go out, to shop or to visit hospitals.
Korail slum is home to 200,000 people, who cram into just 0.36 square kilometres. 4 or 5 people live in tiny one-room homes, many of which have no windows.
Zaiba, a local Bangladeshi woman from Dhaka, realised as she was growing up that she lived a life of privilege. She had access to a good education, a nice house, healthcare and plenty of food to eat despite living nearby the Korail slum. Seeing this stark inequality every day gave her a fire in her belly and she became determined to create opportunity for women who had not been as lucky as her.
Zaiba has set up community hubs within urban slums that provide a safe space for women to meet. She provides opportunities for women with the purpose of empowering them to be confident, to stand up for themselves and to have mobility within their communities. Zaiba has organised self defence training courses for hundreds of young women living in slum communities so far.
“Through years of research on working with violence against women, I only saw awareness campaigns on what happened but never any preventive measures. Women were mentally empowered but lacked physical empowerment which is important for mobility within their community.”
Zaiba's goal is to change the perception of women in Bangladesh and build a society where women are respected and treated as equals. Her next mission is to give women access to education, employment and health care services. Zaiba and her friends have been teaching women in Korail to ride bicycles and have been lending out their own bikes to women, providing an economical and environmentally friendly method of transport that enables women to gain some independence.
Zaiba would like to purchase 8 new bicycles for women in Korail, which they can borrow to get around. Along with her friends, she will also provide one-to-one bike riding lessons for 24 young women aged between 11 and 21. By sharing these bikes, these girls will not only become more mobile and have better access to services such as education and health care, but it also sends a visible message of their increasing empowerment to the wider community.