Increasing protection of women legal rights through mobile services (MLS)

Project Name:
Increasing Protection of Women Legal Rights through Mobile Services (MLS)

Project Period: 1 January 2016-  February, 2018

Working Area: Dhaka- Mirpur, Banani, Jatrabari

Donors: USAID


Bangladesh is still a predominantly rural country, but its urban population is rising fast. An estimated one-third of the city’s population live in slums. Most are lacking in wealth, power and social connections; under-counted in national surveys; and relatively under-served by both government and non-government organisations, whose focus has traditionally been on rural development.

Violence against women and girls is a serious issue in Dhaka’s slums. It manifests in various forms including rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes and social stigma surrounding violence mean that it is rarely reported. Domestic violence is widely considered to be a private matter, often even by service providers. Thus, women generally accept violence perpetrated by their husbands or family members. Further, socially prevalent patriarchal notions view wives as subordinate to husbands and condone violence perpetrated within the family. They also have a negative impact on women’s ability and willingness to seek protection and legal redress.

Access to justice is severely limited for women from Dhaka’s slums, particularly those working in the formal, mainly RMG sector, as well as in the informal economy. The cost of services and the time and transportation needed to travel long distances for services are prohibitive. Public services and institutions are also only operational during office hours. This inhibits working women from accessing these services.

To address the above barriers, it is essential to adopt context-specific strategies to enable women to access and utilise legal services for the protection of their rights.

Goal: The overall goal of the project is to increase legal protection of women’s rights in urban slums in Dhaka.

Objectives: The specific objectives of the project are to: 1) increase capacity and knowledge of women in urban slums in Dhaka to demand legal rights, remedies and services, and 2) increase access to justice for poor, socially excluded and marginalized women in urban slums through the informal and formal justice systems.


  1. MLS will provide Legal Awareness Sessions, Legal Advice and Referralsto women in urban slums in three areas of Dhaka city - Mirpur, Banani and Jatrabari.
  2. Lawyers and mediation officers at BLAST’s Head Office, Dhaka Unit Office will complement these services with mediation and litigation services.

Expected Results:

BLAST will provide direct legal services to 2500 women, girls and men in the three working areas and have an overall impact on 12,500 persons (including family members of the direct beneficiaries).


BLAST, YMCA Development Center, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
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