Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hosted a symposium on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) on the 27 July at the Six Seasons Hotel of Gulshan-2, in Dhaka.
The symposium aimed to create a platform to discuss “Different models of care for SGBV program” by sharing experience, challenges, and opportunities through presentations and panel discussions by representatives of several governmental and non-governmental institutions.
Mrs. Shahnowas Dilruba Khan, the Additional Director of Department of Women Affairs under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, was present in the symposium as the Chief Guest. She addressed that this collaboration between government and non-government organizations will strengthen the endeavor to achieve the SDG on gender equality and equity. Moreover, she highly appreciated the effort of MSF for organizing such event to discuss gender based violence in Bangladesh perspective.
MSF started to work in Bangladesh in 1992; and since 2010, has been running clinics in the Kamrangirchar area with the overall aim of improving access to health care services for specific vulnerable groups namely, adolescents for sexual & reproductive health, SGBV survivors, and those exposed to occupational hazards and environmental pollutants. MSF also operates in Cox’s Bazar area with a 50-bed capacity clinic and a mobile clinic in order to respond immediate humanitarian the needs of vulnerable populations.
During the symposium, models of care for SGBV program were presented by MSF and One Stop Crisis Center. The presentations were followed by panel discussion with specialists from One Stop Crisis Centre, ICDDR, B, and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); chaired by Dr. Mitchell Sangma, the Medical Coordinator of MSF Bangladesh. The presentations and discussions focused on a comprehensive approach to learning from different models of SGBV programs based on current experiences and challenges. The symposium also helped different actors including the governmental authorities and relevant partners working in SGBV care to understand overlapping dimensions of the topic for sustainable solutions.
“Sexual and gender based violence must be addressed as a very significant factor of any society. The need for medical and psychological care has to be met to help the victims with their trauma. MSF is working in Kamrangirchar assisting those who have difficulty in accessing other SGBV care. Our aim is to ensure free and timely access to good quality medical care as well as to improve the victims’ dignity. A sustained, long-term, and broad-based effort is needed to assist both victims and those at risk.” says Pavlos Kolovos, Head of Mission of MSF-Bangladesh.