LIFT: Bangladesh – Forgotten Women

LIFT: Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a population of 170 million and is one of the poorest in the region. 30 years ago, the country stood at the top of the table for highest poverty levels and unemployment. Although, the economic climate is improving, there still remains high levels of poverty especially away from the main cities.

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A woman spends over 90% of her income back into her household, therefore investing in a woman is the fastest and most effective way to eradicate poverty.

A significant proportion of people live in slums which fall apart during the monsoon season and have no regular electricity. They also have limited or no access to health care, basic food and drinking water. The phenomenon of female-headed households is a new and emerging pattern in Bangladesh, this is due to the social abandonment of women by husbands on the one hand, and fathers, brothers, uncles on the other who are unable or not willing to provide making survival a challenge for women.

The lack of opportunities, education and poverty are the main factors that fuel human trafficking, especially amongst women and children in Bangladesh. Due to the poverty of opportunity women have no alternative but to turn to selling their bodies as a means to support themselves and their families.

Following our LIFT model, we have developed a formula in both rural and urban areas for women to escape the poverty trap for good. Our transforming lives project is tailored around many factors, the main being that the business must generate a substantial income immediately for the women to be committed. Below are 6 simple steps we undertake:

1. Beneficiary (poverty, no income, no husband / father)
2. Suitable business scoping
3. Suitable location for business type
4. Training and guidance
5. Business Handover
6. Continuous Monitoring & Support

Meet Asiya:

Asiya begum lives in purbo kalenga, she is 20 years old and has one child, Asiya married at a young age. During her marriage Asiya was beaten and tortured by her husband and his family. Asiya would often be forced to ask her parents for money by her in-laws, if they refused, she would be beaten and not given any food to eat. They physical and mental torture became too much for Asiya. She left her husband and his family and returned home, not long after her brother was crippled in an accident which meant income in the house was dependent on Asiya.


The impact these businesses are making in the lives of these women are beyond words, they are no longer begging or selling their bodies but earning a living by becoming business owners which is ultimately protecting their dignity, it is emotional to witness and be a part of. Sunny, Forgotten Women

We wanted to give Asiya the best start in life, especially after the years of abuse, Asiya’s chosen business was a shop, she has always dreamed to become a shop owner. Asiya’s shop was stocked up and training was given on managing profit and loss, Today Asiya is making a healthy profit. She is now supporting her family and saving for her child’s future.

Your smart donation can help women like Asiya to escape the dark poverty trap and protect her dignity for generations to come, the total cost to setup each woman with a fully functioning business is £1000

One-off Donation: £1000
Monthly Donation: £100 x 10

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Forgotten Women