GENDER BASED VIOLence
Kotha is a Dhaka based feminist organization based with a mission to fight root causes of gender based violence in Bangladesh. We work at the intersection of education, youth-perspective research, policy advocacy and arts. Our primary intervention programs aim to mobilize young people to shift societal mindsets and dismantle the culture of gender based violence in our society. We couple this work with social advocacy and the power of mass protests and demonstrations.
Founded in 2016, our work is fueled by rage at societal apathy, stubborn hope for a free and safe future and immense love for our community.
“The government strategically chose a road that would let them escape accountability,” Umama Zillur, a member of the Feminists Across Generations alliance, who has been fighting gender-based violence in Bangladesh for several years, told CBS News. “We will not accept this.”
Zillur is one of the organizers of the #RageAgainstRape protests that rocked Bangladesh over the weekend. She said the voluntary participation of high school students was unprecedented.
Ministers hoped a small change to the law—adding the death penalty for all lone rapists as well as all gang rapists—would placate public outrage. No such luck. Nationwide protests, which erupted on October 5th after a video showing a gang sexual assault went viral, enter a third week today. If the protesters cannot be satisfied, neither are they easy to suppress. On Saturday, local police beat protesters walking the 160km from Dhaka, the capital, to Noakhali, where the attack took place. The bloodied dissenters marched on. Their defiance, rare in authoritarian Bangladesh, points to anger not only over sexual violence but also over the government’s response, labelled by women’s-rights organisations as inadequate and misguided. Across the border, India too is debating capital punishment for rape, after the gang-rape and murder of a low-caste Hindu woman in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Killing rapists makes governments appear purposeful, say activists. But it does not stop the crime.
Youth Co:Lab 2021 National Winner
Kotha was selected as one of the 5 national winners by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s social business incubation program, Youth Co:Lab. Read More
Share-net International Small Grants 2020
The Share-Net International Small Grants Facility is one of the methodologies of Share Net International to support knowledge Read More
management activities amongst the members by providing funding for applied research, documentation of practices and the creation of knowledge products for improving policy and practice in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). Kotha was one of the 13 “2020 Small Grants” awardees, for working on producing a digital open-access peer educator training module “Peer Education 101: For Us by Us”, to help promote the practice of Peer Education models in SRHR and Comprehensive Sex Education programs in Bangladesh.
Mount Holyoke College Social Innovation Award
Kotha at School was developed under the Clinton Global Initiative and awarded the Mount Holyoke College Social Innovation Award. Read More
Through this program, Kotha aims to address the lack of institution-based knowledge sharing about the effects of rigid gender norms and stereotypes, about maintaining good mental and physical health, issues of consent, relationship abuse, victim blaming, and bystander intervention. Kotha follows a right based, interactive curriculum that will allow students to critically challenge their perspectives on the issues introduced.
Umama Zillur, Founder of Kotha, was recognized for her work and chosen as one of the SheDecides 25x25 Young Leaders. This year, on the 25th anniversary of the historic Read More
Beijing 1995 conference, SheDecides has chosen 25 young leaders from 25 different countries around the world who are working towards the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. As one of the 25x25, Umama will be heading to Amsterdam in March and the UN Generation Equality Forum in Paris in July 2020 to discuss women’s rights activism, feminist solidarity, and youth leadership to achieve transformative change and help shape the agenda for gender equality in the upcoming decade.
BRAC JPGSPH Fellowship Grant 2020
Kotha’s podcast series “Not Here For” was selected as a fellowship grant recipient jointly provided by the Centre for Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Read More
Health and Rights (CGSRHR) at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). They are working in collaboration to implement the “Strengthening Voices and Capacities for Addressing Gender Based Violence" project in Bangladesh, which is funded by CREA, with an aim to reduce gender based violence (GBV) in Bangladesh.