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Top moments from one year of Equal Bangladesh

May 2024

From meeting with political parties, to collaborating with UN agencies, Equal Bangladesh has achieved a lot over the last 12 months.

Equal Bangladesh is a national coalition campaign working alongside over 20 organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) in Bangladesh to enhance and protect the rights of people with disabilities. Since launching one year ago the campaign has made great progress.

Launch of the campaign

In May 2023, the Equal Bangladesh campaign launched, the first national campaign of Sightsavers.

Campaigning on national policy with objectives decided upon by OPDs members, Equal Bangladesh aims to promote equal opportunities and access to resources, employment and public services through the effective implementation of the Rights and Protection of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2013.

Equal Bangladesh steering committee chair Nasima Akhter said: “I dream of an Equal Bangladesh where people with disabilities can enjoy equal rights like others in our society without any discrimination. I, therefore, urge the government to ensure an effective implementation of the act so that we can lead a normal life without struggling every day, everywhere.”

Equal Bangladesh

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A photo of members of Equal Bangladesh with Dr. Dipu Moni MP, Social Welfare Minister of Bangladesh.
Members of Equal Bangladesh with , social welfare minister Dr. Dipu Moni.

Publishing policy analysis

The Equal Bangladesh campaign published a comprehensive policy analysis report, shedding light on the progress made in the last decade regarding the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act in Bangladesh.

Written in collaboration with key government bodies such as the Ministry of Social Welfare, Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation (JPUF), Prime Minister’s Office, and Ministry of Planning, as well as invaluable input from relevant stakeholders including organisations of people with disabilities and Equal Bangladesh campaign partners, serves as a beacon for assessing the act’s implementation.

The report identifies areas where progress has been commendable while also pinpointing shortcomings that require urgent attention. The study lays the groundwork for strategic interventions aimed at ensuring the act’s full realisation and fostering an Equal Bangladesh ensuring rights for all people with disabilities in Bangladesh.

Read the report


Working with political parties

In September 2023, politicians from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and Bangladesh Communist Party joined an exclusive dialogue “The Incorporation of the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act in the Election Manifestoes of the Political Parties”. The dialogue was organised by Equal Bangladesh campaign and attended by Equal Bangladesh campaign partners, and representatives from NGOs and INGOs.

Party leaders committed to including the Disability Act in their election manifestoes, a significant step forward, especially given the absence of disability inclusion references in the previous manifestoes of Bangladesh National Party and Bangladesh Communist Party.

All the parties engaged people with disabilities and OPDs in further dialogues while finalising their respective election manifestoes.

Photo of representatives of the main political parties in Bangladesh seated around a table.
Equal Bangladesh campaign brings together political parties to commit to incorporating the disability act implementation in their election manifestoes.

UN collaboration

Equal Bangladesh campaign united UN agencies, and OPDs in action to foster disability rights in Bangladesh on the International Day of People with Disabilities.

As part of the impactful celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Dhaka, Equal Bangladesh, UN Development Programme and the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities organised a national seminar which was attended by senior government officials. The seminar underscored the theme “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities”.

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