08 March 2024

What Works for Girls in South Asia

Adolescents in South Asia face numerous challenges in accessing health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and social protection services. Girls are further burdened by unremunerated care responsibilities within households. Adolescents in South Asia are also affected by pervasive gender-based violence, in particular child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) and, in some settings, have experienced war and humanitarian emergencies. Despite strong commitments to adolescent girls’ development, some governments in South Asia still need to implement legislative and policy reforms for girls to thrive. In some countries, adolescent girls are prohibited from gaining an education; in other countries, schools are sites of entrenched gender inequality, harassment and gender-based violence, while comprehensive sexuality education is subject to government regulation. Adolescent girls face numerous barriers in accessing health services, including policies that require male or parental consent: a direct violation of their rights to health and their evolving capacity. UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia commissioned this situation analysis to assess the current landscape of programming designed to address the specific needs of adolescent girls in the region through a gender transformative lens. The analysis was designed to be broad in scope, though not a comprehensive or systematic assessment of all UNICEF-led or partner programmes in the region. This review was designed to explore the ability of or potential for programming to target and reduce gender inequalities that negatively impact and restrict girls in line with the UNICEF Global Adolescent Girl Strategy 2022–2025 and the regional framework. Rewriting the Narrative For the Second Decade With and For Girls in South Asia 2022–2025. The study focused on identifying key gaps, challenges and practices with promise to accelerate progress.
18 July 2023

Painting with purpose

The narrow, muddy alleyways of Korail slum in Dhaka lead to a small room packed with about 40 children. The mood inside this room with tin walls is happy and cheerful, oblivious to the otherwise gloomy surroundings. Nine-year-old Mim and her friends watch a series of images projected on the wall. Pictures from Bangladesh – fishermen in a boat,…, This fun, interactive art session helps to bring more children to the hubs and connect them to critical services., UNICEF/UN0851640/Mawa Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself. Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself., Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself., UNICEF/UN0851635/Mawa Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself. Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself., Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself., UNICEF/UN0851645/Mawa fun, interactive art session Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself. Mim takes her turn to make the hub brighter and welcoming to more children like herself. Linda Valente Da Silva Acouri, a Brazilian artist who specializes in engaging children through art, shuffles through…, An unusual but effective tool, The art exercise in the community hub has been commissioned by UNICEF and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to make the hubs welcoming, draw more children in to access social services and to help the children to feel a sense of ownership as they work with the artist to express themselves and brighten up the space. “Prior to each…, Bright colours, happy faces: As children paint and make the hub more visible, they open the door for more of their peers to come to the hub., UNICEF/UN0851646/Mawa Bright colours, happy faces Bright colours, happy faces, Bright colours, happy faces: As children paint and make the hub more visible, they open the door for more of their peers to come to the hub., UNICEF/UN0851644/Mawa Bright colours, happy faces Bright colours, happy faces, Bright colours, happy faces: As children paint and make the hub more visible, they open the door for more of their peers to come to the hub., UNICEF/UN0851639/Mawa Bright colours, happy faces Bright colours, happy faces Bright colours, happy faces In a country where 45 million children experience violence at home, about 6.8 million are engaged in child labour and half of girls are married before their 18 th  birthday, the need for child protection services is apparent. “Sometimes it’s…, Scaling up solutions to protect children, Linda and the VACW coordinators have trained 70 local artists, taking them through how she gets children to open up and participate during the art sessions. Together, she and the local artists have now engaged about 50,000 children in 700 community hubs across Bangladesh, focusing on underprivileged children. Although they live right in the heart…, In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence, UNICEF/UN0851638/Mawa In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence. In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., UNICEF/UN0855634/Mawa In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence. In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., UNICEF/UN0851642/Mawa In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence. In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence., UNICEF/UN0851643/Mawa In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that help to prevent child marriage, child labour and violence. In the UNICEF-supported hubs, children are connected to services that…, A burst of colour lights up the day, After taking turns painting bit by bit the little artists in the room are happy to see the finished product. Throughout the session Linda continues to guide the children, reminding them to wait their turn if their friend is painting in the same spot they want, to share and to take care of the painting materials. Today’s art session has made the…
15 May 2023

Newborn Rohingya refugee baby Hosne Ara and mother Hasina wait out Cyclone Mocha’s landfall

“I have been living with mixed feelings of happiness and anxiety for the last twenty-four hours," says Hasina, a Rohingya refugee living in the camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She gave birth to her daughter, Hosne Ara, a day before Cyclone Mocha wreaked havoc in the southeast coast of Bangladesh.  , A mother’s fears as a cyclone draws near, Baby Hosne Ara Baby Hosne Ara, born on the eve Cyclone Mocha’s anticipated landfall. Cyclone Mocha had the potential to turn into one of the most severe natural disasters to hit Bangladesh in the past five years. For the one million Rohingya refugees living in the densely packed camps in Cox’s Bazar, the fear of destruction and further deprivation…, Preparing for landfall, Staff prepare jerry cans for distribution Staff prepare jerry cans for distribution, Staff prepare jerry cans for distribution at the UNICEF warehouse in Cox's Bazar ahead of Cyclone Mocha., UNICEF/UN0841641/Lateef refugee volunteers refugee volunteers, Over 3,000 refugee volunteers were trained and equipped to be first responders in the camps., UNICEF/ UN0842333/Lateef Rohingya families seek shelter Rohingya families seek shelter, Rohingya families seek shelter as Cyclone Mocha brought heavy rainfall and strong winds., UNICEF/ UN0842329/Mukut Staff prepare jerry cans for distribution refugee volunteers Rohingya families seek shelter As Cyclone Mocha loomed closer, UNICEF prepared to respond to the emergency needs of refugee children and families who would be affected the worst. UNICEF prepositioned emergency health kits, essential medicines, water purification…, Spared the worst, To Hasina’s relief, the Rohingya refugee camps were spared the worst. Even then, the strong winds and heavy rainfall uprooted trees and damaged hundreds of shelters and facilities. The bravery and dedication of thousands of Rohingya refugee volunteers who evacuated hundreds of people to safer locations in the camps helped their own communities. In…