Bangladesh: Pilot project on livelihood promotion for female headed households of Rohingya refugee


More than 700,000 Rohingya refugee characterized as Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs) are dwelling in different camps located in Cox’s Bazar since fall 2017 with inadequate provision of basic necessities together with poor basic education and health support (UNHCR). The girl children and women together are deprived of getting basic literacy and numeracy, capacity development on life skills and livelihood promotion and provision. The study suggests that vulnerability and marginalization of female-headed households are far more acute compared to the other parts of the society dwelling in the Rohingya camp for several reasons, restricted mobility, inadequate life skill and capacity, low level of human capital, and gender-based violence they experience in the household and community. The study reveals that the multiple harmful beliefs, values and norms associated with early marriage, dowry, polygamy, drug abuse and domestic violence intensify the agony and sufferings of both children and women. Moreover, the children and women remain in the perilous plight on account of the trauma of abuse, sexual violence, and rape they encountered from the law enforcing agencies of Myanmar before taking shelter in Cox’s Bazar , Bangladesh. Moreover, both women and children are at high risk of trafficking since several trafficking networks are operating their activities in these regions (Human Trafficking Search, 2018). It reveals that age, and gender identity appeared as one of the prime risk factors for the children and women of Rohingya community dwelling in camps. The gender-based violence at the family and community level has manifold impacts on children as well as women.

The combination of conservative religious values and strong patriarchal values generate a male-dominated model in the household that considers man as breadwinners and responsible for operating public domain while women as unpaid caregivers carry out all household chores including care works and cooking and responsible for operating the private domain. It is one of the critical challenges to empower women within the existing reality. It is evident that patriarchal values coupled with conservative religious regulations extremely undermine the voice and participation of women and girls in the household and community level. As the confinement of women is the common practice in the household level, the independent voice of women is not visible or expressed in a suppressive environment. The male is the breadwinner and guardians of the household and women are caregivers – this particular model is dominant in most of the households that allow dominance of men over the women even in the female-headed households. This model designates the role of men in public spheres while the role of women in the private sphere. This model particularly undermined and unrecognized the economic and social role of women in society as a whole.

The female-headed households found the most vulnerable part of this society for various reasons. Firstly, the poor human capital like lack of education, skill, and confidence delimit their livelihood options, secondly lack of freedom in mobility and victim of gender discrimination from the society, thirdly social stigma associated with women’s work based on patriarchy and religious values and beliefs and fourthly lack of alternative livelihoods options in the camp.

A significant part of this society, instead of religious barriers and values, allow or support the outside work of the female-headed households for their survival on account of the absence of male members or incapability of male members.

Implementation strategies

In terms of generating livelihood opportunities, this pilot project will provide livelihood training to the head of the female-headed households. The project will likely to provide the material conditions together with supportive environment, relevant information and knowledge for generating livelihood options for the women. It is likely that the extent of capacity support and knowledge they will gather and the application of gained knowledge cumulatively generates alternative livelihood options for these women. These women will be capacitated on communication skill and she also be acquainted with basic business accounting required for operating business.The project will also provide technical and input support for homestead gardening that may improve the nutritional situation of the household and also make the environment more greenish and environment-friendly.

This pilot project will be implemented in one of the Rohingya Camps located in Chakmarkul(Camp 21) in Cox’sbazar. A rapid survey has already conducted and the survey reveals the high degree of vulnerability and marginalization of female-headed households with a high number of female-headed households. Initially, female-headed households will be selected from camp Chakmarkul (Camp 21). After selecting the female-headed households, the project will carry out advocacy with camp leaders and local elite to facilitate a congenial atmosphere for the female-headed households. As a part of selecting alternative livelihoods options, a strategic workshop with female-headed households will be carried. The project participants (head of female-headed households) will be capacitated on selected livelihoods sectors including input support and hand-holding support. The duration of the pilot project will be three months. An assessment will be carried out after the end of the project to understand the result that will likely generate in the project.


1. Empower the female-headed Rohingya families who are most vulnerable in the camp

2. Show the gesture of Bangladesh Krishok Federation to the Rohingya people who forcefully migrated to Bangladesh

Implementing Organization: Bangladesh Krishok Federation

Commencement: Within one week from when the funding support will be received.

Budget line: see below.

Badrul Alam
Bangladesh Krishok Federation

Pilot project on livelihood promotion for female headed households of Rohingya refugee

Project duration : 3 months

1,1 Setting up office
1,2 Human Resource recruitment
1.2.1 Community facilitators
1.2.2 Livelihood promotion officer
1,3 Identifying female headed households in selected camp Chakmarkul (Camp 21)
1,4 Advocacy with camp leaders and local elite
1,5 Strategic workshop with female headed households for selecting alternative livelihoods options
1,6 Capacity development of female headed households

female headed households Project Cost (in Taka)

unit price Total cost
office Rent 5000 15000


Community facilitators (2) 15000 90000
Livelihood promotion officer 30000 60000
Livelihood support (100 project participants) 2000 200000
Operational cost 36500
Total Cost 401500

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