BRAC was founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and, during the course of their evolution, have established themselves as a pioneer in recognising and tackling the many different realities of poverty.
Today BRAC Bangladesh works to combat poverty in 70,000 villages and 2,000 slums, reaching three quarters of the entire population with an integrated package of services for rural and urban communities. They employ more than 100,000 people - microfinance officers, teachers, health staff and enterprise managers - to be on the very doorstep of the poorest families. They seek to ensure their services are accessible, relevant and adaptable.
BRAC Bangladesh works to prevent gender-based discrimination and violence by facilitating understanding through discussions, workshops and media outreach. They provide technical support and training to organisations that promote the rights of socially marginalised groups, such as transgenders, sex workers and HIV/AIDS sufferers. Within BRAC, work is being done to improve gender relations through training on gender sensitisation and analysis, development of policies such as the Gender Policy and Sexual Harassment Elimination Policy, and creation of staff forums and alliances such as the Gender Equality and Diversity Team and the network of Gender Focal Points.
BRAC also works directly with adolescent girls through the Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), which was initiated in 1993. Adolescent Clubs within the ADP give girls the chance to socialise, play indoor games, sing, dance and exchange views and experiences in a safe space within their community. Peer facilitators hold discussion regarding issues related to health, reproductive rights, gender and financial literacy. Girls also participate in sport training, joining the BRAC cricket and football teams, and compete in sport tournaments and festivals. With support from Women Win and Standard Chartered, BRAC is implementing the Goal curriculum in select clubs.