Background Drowning is the leading killer of children 1–4 year in Bangladesh, accounting for 43% of total child mortality in this age group. Lack of supervision, high exposure to water hazards, lack of education and poverty are some of the major risk factors for childhood drowning in Bangladesh. To ensure child safety from drowning in the rural areas 1600 Anchals (community crèches) were implemented during 2013–14 in three sub-districts of Bangladesh where children stay safely under supervision of two local caregivers (Anchal caregiver and her Assistant). In each Anchal 20–25 children aged 9 to 36 months, are kept between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, six days a week. The objective of the study was to assess the women’s participation in ensuring child safety through Anchal in rural areas of Bangladesh.
Methods A qualitative method was applied in this study. Last 17 months salaries of 3200 women were analysed and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 100 Anchal caregivers in 10 groups in the three different locations to understand their position in the family and the society.
Results 3200 Women worked voluntarily to ensure injury safety of 35,000 children. From June 2014 to October 2015 (17 months) these women earned a total of BDT 5,40,96,890/- which made social, financial and economic changes in their lives. Community people respected them as teacher of the children. These women were more aware on injury prevention. The FGDs also found that independent earnings gave them a higher status in the family and as a result of that, the husband-wife interaction on decision-making increased. Five days basic training, monthly meetings and compliance training increased their mobility outside home and the social status of them. These women’s communication skills had also increased.
Conclusions From the study it was found that women had been empowered and children’s safety was ensured through the Anchal programme.
- community crèche
- women participation
- children’s safety
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