News Feature by Naimul Haq
COX’S BAZAR | Bangladesh (IDN) - Many young girls drop out from schools in Bangladesh largely due to poverty and poverty related causes. But strong motivations for continuing education have changed the scenario over the past few years.
Despite the practices of patriarchy and traditional beliefs against girls’ education and employment in mostly poor families in the rural areas, adolescent girls in many regions of Bangladesh have demonstrated how defying such traditions can actually benefit their lives.
Shonglap – or dialogue that calls for capacity building or developing occupational skills and offers livelihood opportunities for marginalised groups of people in the society – has made a positive impact encouraging them to learn.
Ummey Salma, who quit school in 2011 due to extreme poverty, has joined Shonglap in South Delpara of Khurushkul in coastal Cox’s Bazar district. In a group of 29 adolescent girls, Ummey, who lost her father in 2009, has been playing a leading role among the girls who meet six-days a week in the Shonglap session held at a rented thatched home in suburb Delpara.