Country Profile on Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Rights: Bangladesh


This study explores the barriers and impediments that women and girls in Bangladesh are facing that make it difficult for sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) to be realized. While the country mandates inclusion of curricula on sexuality and reproductive health (SRH) in formal and non-formal education sectors, the matter is generally weakly addressed, resulting in young people of 10-19 (constituting one third of the entire population in Bangladesh) who have limited knowledge of SRH issues including contraception, sexuality, family planning and sexually transmitted diseases. What little knowledge they have are acquired from their friends or other social contacts, who also have limited knowledge on these issues. Bangladesh also has the highest proportion of girls married under 15; according to World bank report as well as the UNICEF state of the World’s Children report 2013, more than 66% girls in Bangladesh are married off before their 18th birthday. The country also faces issues in terms of violence against women (VAW), a key determinant of the status of women. The absence of a unified policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) will be looked at by the current study, as well as the role of culture and tradition along with religion in determining what information is available on SRHR and on women and girl’s access to SRH services.