Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Our program addresses gender disparity, human rights abuses, and economic stagnancy due to deficient property rights. Economically, the lack of property rights impedes people from using their property productively, withdrawing loans, investing in, lending, or leasing their land. The economic atrophy resulting from weak property rights thwarts all other efforts of poverty alleviation.
Poor property rights are the disease to which human rights abuses are a symptom and unfortunately, but not unusually, women bear the brunt of this burden. Discriminatory laws are deeply rooted in religious and cultural tradition, perpetuating abuse against women and exclusion from the economy. Without property rights the systems that keep rights remiss continue to flourish, economic prosperity stalls, and gender disparity prevails. Women are sidelined; Never given the chance to participate or compete with men, they are treated as if they can’t. This mentality has seeped deep into Bangladeshi social psyche, perpetuating abuse.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Our program’s strength is found in its approach, scope, and magnitude. Property rights cut across all sectors of society affecting economic, social, individual, and institutional relations. By offering programs which address every sector, property rights are brought within our grasp. Like all lasting movements, ours begins by building courage and conviction in the hearts of citizens who are marginalised and discriminated. Before property rights can empower people, people must be empowered to claim their property rights. Our legal literacy courses will combine legal aid with rights articulation, taking legal empowerment beyond courts and to hands-on application at the grassroots. Unlike typical legal education courses, these classes will give individuals knowledge of their constitution, its practical implications, and demonstrable use of that knowledge in accessing their rights. There’s a latent demand for property rights waiting to be awakened. Our retraining of a cadre of barefoot lawyers as land surveyors will directly serve the needs of rights-claimers by providing access to services, offering a better alternative to the existing rent seeking culture in land administration services. The introduction of a market mechanism will stabilize prices in the land sector, establishing a sustainable economy. Data collected from our work will complement policy advocacy and advance reform. The reform in policy, along with the swell of rights-claiming people will reshape the social structures of Bangladesh providing more equality, prosperity, and opportunity. The combination of individual empowerment, rights articulation, provision of services, gender direction, market mechanism, and policy advocacy makes the Empowerment Initiative one of a kind, truly unique.