Nilima Jahan

Nilima Jahan is a Staff Reporter at The Daily Star, who is passionate about working on human rights, particularly women and child rights issues. When she is not writing, she spends most of her time thinking about her baby (who is currently inside her womb), ordering and eating her favourite spicy dishes, travelling, and scrolling on her phone. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Water harvesting in coastal upazilas: From scarcity to security

Archana Rani, 36, a homemaker from coastal upazila Assasuni in Satkhira, struggled for 23 years to collect drinking water from faraway sources that were often salty and contaminated with arsenic.

1w ago

Coastal men break traditional gender roles

While many urban millennial men continue to view unpaid domestic work as something women do, a lot of men in the coastal areas of Khulna and Satkhira are taking up the job and sharing responsibilities with their wives.

2w ago

Women still made to lag far behind

The report, titled "Gender-Based Employment and Wage", said the percentage of female officials in public administration was 19.62 percent, while it was 22.64 percent in the field administration

3w ago

Bridging the Digital Gender Divide

Despite the government’s ambitious Digital Bangladesh agenda, a significant digital gender divide persists in the country, leaving women at a disadvantage in accessing and using ICT tools compared to men.

3w ago

Children With Cancer: A parent’s worst nightmare

Young parents Ringku Mia’s and Shifa Akter’s world had turned upside down when their four-year-old daughter Farha was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer that originated from a tumour in her kidney.

Students In Slums: Putting up a brave fight for a future

In Abul’s slum, or “Abuler Bosti”, in the capital’s Bhashantek, one of the most frequented places is his grocery-cum-tea shop.

Hepatitis B During Pregnancy: Newborns at risk of liver cirrhosis, cancer

Hepatitis B virus is one that can be easily passed on from mother to child, putting the newborn at the risk of future liver cirrhosis or cancer.

Implementation will fall short: study

To achieve the health rights of 3.6 crore adolescents in Bangladesh, the government developed the National Strategy for Adolescent Health and the National Plan of Action to implement it. However, a new study found that the implementation will fall short of addressing the diverse health needs of adolescents.

Maternal Healthcare: Slum women left to fend for themselves

Eighteen-year-old Julekha Begum, of Tejgaon slum, was married off at 15 and is currently in the ninth month of pregnancy.

Ensuring child rights: Social protection schemes are crucial

Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian social reformer who  was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Malala Yousafzai in 2014, talks to the The Daily Star about the global child rights situation during his visit to Bangladesh on January 14-18.

Lives deprived of hope

Twelve-year-old Rubaiya’s world is limited to her bed. A resident of the Korail slum in the capital, she lives in a dark windowless tin-shed shanty. She has not seen a glimpse of the sky in the last three years. The last time she went on a trip outside was seven years ago, at her grandmother’s home in Cumilla.

A good initiative, but still a long way to go

The instalment of CCTV cameras in city buses by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs has generated a positive response among female commuters as well as bus staffers, as they believe the initiative has brought a change in the behavioural pattern of the overall commuters.

Domestic Violence Victims: Back in with abusers as the state fails them

What forces abused women to return to live with their tormentors even after repeated incidents of domestic violence?

1098 Helpline: A godsend for children in distress

Moriom Begum has been a victim of domestic violence ever since she got married in 2016 for not being able to pay dowry money.

Rape survivors face cruel realities

Sabina, 33, a young professional from Rangpur, tries hard to forget about the horrific day in 2019, when she was raped by her uncle. But even after three years the memory of her ordeal is fresh and has turned her days into a harrowing quest for survival.

How green papayas go from Tk 7 to 25

How much does a kilo of green papaya from Manikganj’s Singair upazila cost? Well, depending on whom you are buying from, the price can be anywhere from Tk 7 to Tk 25.

Women paint a grim picture of workplaces

It has been 13 years since the High Court gave directives to form sexual harassment complaint committees in the workplace and educational institutions, but there has been little to no progress so far.

Rape victim’s character can no longer be questioned

The much talked about Evidence Act (Amendment) Bill 2022 incorporating the admissibility of digital evidence by the court was passed unanimously in parliament yesterday.

Pushed further into darkness

It was almost one o’clock at night. A woman in her 30s was screaming for help from inside an auto-rickshaw near Farmgate. The roads were almost empty, and the few people nearby were reluctant to check what was going on, as they feared that they might land in trouble.

Looking after the neglected

Sixty-year-old Asiya Begum, a resident of the capital’s Korail slum, lives in a tiny makeshift  room made of tin, slightly larger than the size of a grave, with no ventilation or fan. At first glance, it might look like she has been buried alive.

Short in stature, big in heart

Shantona’s parents started worrying about her height when she was four years old, as she was not growing as tall as the other children of her age.

National Girl Child Day: No country for our daughters

Although Sustainable Development Goals target ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children by 2030, Bangladesh is yet to go a long way in this regard.

C-section deliveries: Eightfold increase in 14 years

The rate of caesarian deliveries has increased almost eight-fold in Bangladesh. In 2004, the rate stood at four percent. However, a recent analysis revealed that the rate was found to be 33 percent in 2017-18.

An obstruction to nation’s growth

Violence against children not only obstructs the growth of children but also contributes to slowing down a country’s economy and social development, said child rights experts.

Teen living in shelter for sex workers’ children sits for SSC exams, makes his ‘ammu’ proud

Hazera Begum never got married or had any biological children. Yet, she is the “ammu” (mother) to 40 children, who once struggled for their identities, for what their biological mothers do for a living.

Kapasia model: Drastically reduced maternal deaths

Back in 2017, a baseline survey conducted by Kapasia Upazila Family Planning Office (UFPO), Gazipur found that more than 90 percent of the mothers-to-be of the subdistrict were unaware of the maternal and neonatal danger signs, the idea and importance of antenatal and postnatal care or keeping their medical records during pregnancies, the importance of knowing their own blood groups, and keeping contact of potential blood donors or an ambulance.

In the driving seat in a man’s world

After her husband lost his job at a pharmacy in 2017, Leuza Akter Kristy’s family plunged into a struggle to put food on the table.

Not a child-friendly ‘formula’

Last month, when 22-year-old Mitu Dhar was struggling to make her newborn stop crying at a private hospital in Dhaka, as she couldn’t produce enough milk for him, her family members got desperate to get some artificial milk for the baby.

This one’s for ‘ammu’

Eighteen-year-old Falguni (not her real name) is the eldest of 40 siblings. After passing her HSC exams with a GPA of 4.08, she has made her “ammu” immensely proud.

Hazera dreams big after the oldest of her 40 children pass HSC exam

Hazera, the mother of 40 children, has been proud of her oldest daughter who recently passed the HSC exam, and now dreams of doing something big and leading a life full of dignity.

1 in 5 adult Rohingyas infected with hepatitis C

A recent study on the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C virus among the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar has found that more than one in five Rohingya adults have Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

The long, winding road to remedy for spousal violence

While covering a discussion on domestic violence last year, like many others in the audience, I was deeply touched by Rahela’s story of helplessness.

Gender Sensitivity: Judiciary not trained enough

Rights activists have long been demanding effective gender sensitivity training for judges and lawyers dealing with cases of sexual violence so the victims, especially rape survivors, are treated with gender responsiveness and sensitivity throughout the legal process.

Over half of Bangladeshi children under 5 don’t have birth registration

Fahima Begum, a 40-year-old domestic worker from Mirpur’s Kazipara area, was desperately running to print and photocopy shops in her area over two days in order to apply for the birth certificate of her five-year-old daughter Sathi.

‘Anchal’ saving lives

In low and middle-income countries, many children die every year by drowning, usually when the parents are occupied with household chores or wage-earning activities.

Rise in child abuse: Long way to achieve SDG goals

Nine-year-old Jeba (not her real name) has been having a very difficult time with excessive genital bleeding and pain, which has limited her ability to walk.

Violence against young women and girls with disabilities: An everyday affair

Worldwide, young women and girls with disabilities face up to 10 times more violence than women and girls without disabilities, and Bangladesh is no exception.

An undernourished nutrition budget

Twenty-five-year-old Rima Rani Paul is currently in her eight month of pregnancy. When she visited the doctor recently, she was recommended a balanced diet, rich in nutrient-dense foods, as the fetus was not growing as expected.

Global Handwashing Day: Hand hygiene for all a far-off goal

Mohammad Harun, a sales executive at a ceramic store, was pleasantly surprised to see a handwashing station at the entrance to his office this July.

Child Rape Survivors with Disabilities: The never-ending road to justice

“It makes me so angry when I see the man who raped my 13-year-old daughter with disabilities proudly roaming around the neighborhood, saying, ‘What’s so wrong with raping a retard? She’s a reject any way!’” lamented a frustrated Mujtoba Ali*, a construction worker in Bogura.

813 girls raped in last 8 months

Even though rape laws were amended last year to allow for the death penalty, a total of 813 girl children were subjected to rape, of whom 110 were subjected to gang rape in the first eight months of this year, revealed a report.

Time for action is now

On July 11, three under-five children drowned in two unions of Netrakona’s Kalmakanda upazila. The incident, however, was not highlighted in the media, as child drowning still remains one of the neglected and underreported issues in Bangladesh.

Vaccination Drive: Are transgender people left out?

Getting tested and vaccinated for Covid-19 was no less than a trauma for Tanisha Yasmin Chaity, a young transwoman and a development worker based in Cox’s Bazar.

Health disparities of transgender youth: Still left in the lurch

30-year-old Mugdha* a transgender woman of Rajshahi, still depends on traditional healers or dispensaries when she feels unwell, considering the disparities she faces at hospitals.

Notarising child marriage!

Fatema Begum of Kalyanpur slum, locally known as the “Kalyanpur Pora Bosti”, got married to Md Mohsin in March, this year.

Country’s lone human tissue bank serving in silence

When Shreyon Paul suffered a second-degree burn to his back, doctors at a local hospital were not sure if the nine-year-old would ever fully recover.

Covid-19 Vaccine: A costly dilemma over pregnant women?

The government is yet to decide whether to vaccinate pregnant women despite a WHO recommendation to that end and an alarming rise in the number of pregnant Covid-19 patients.

Never called back to work

A few weeks ago, the photo of 65-year-old Asiya Begum -- a house-help who was walking for two hours, wading through ankle-deep water, to reach her home at Hemayetpur from her employer’s house at the capital’s Lalmatia -- went viral on social media. 

May 28, 2021
May 28, 2021

Biodegradable Shaathi Pads: Helping Women and the Environment

Have you ever imagined how many disposable pads a menstruating woman or girl uses in a year or how much they actually cost?

May 28, 2021
May 28, 2021

Safe motherhood day: New mothers skip check-ups for fear of Covid

Thirty-one-year-old Mushfika Akter, a teacher at a renowned school in the capital, is currently in her eighth month of unplanned pregnancy.

May 6, 2021
May 6, 2021

Transgender volunteers winning hearts at DMCH

Holding a placard inscribed with “I am a volunteer. How can I help you?” Sagarika was waiting at the entrance of Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s Covid-19 unit. As soon as an ambulance arrived, she rushed towards it, helping the patient get off from the vehicle.

April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021

Husband dies, wife still on life support

Ashikuzzaman Khan, a computer engineer, who was injured in the deadly fire in Old Dhaka’s Armanitola on April 23, died on Wednesday night while undergoing treatment at Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Institute.

April 28, 2021
April 28, 2021

National Household Database : Project delayed, data obsolete

The government project undertaken to prepare the country’s first-ever poverty registry has not been completed in more than seven years, with the data collected for it already rendered useless.

March 18, 2021
March 18, 2021

Deplorable Sanitation Conditions in Dhaka Slums: Women bear the brunt of it

Thirty-year-old Aklima Akter of Mirpur’s Duaripara slum shares her tiny and slippery “hanging latrine” with over 80 people in her neighbourhood.

March 12, 2021
March 12, 2021

Transgender youth and the right to access public washrooms

Although the practice of open defecation was declared 0 percent in Bangladesh in 2017, 22-year-old *Nishita Nisha, a member of the third gender community in Dhaka, said that she is still sometimes forced to defecate in parks, footpaths or alleys.

March 8, 2021
March 8, 2021

F-commerce boom amid the pandemic: How women are taking the lead

When her husband faced a huge pay cut a month after the outbreak of Covid-19, advocate Noorjahan Kabir was left with no choice but to step forward to help her seven-member family.

March 8, 2021
March 8, 2021

Law there, awareness little

The government has enacted the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act in 2010 that ensures the victims’ rights to law enforcement officers’ assistance, required medical facilities, and legal services.

February 6, 2021
February 6, 2021

Compensation for Rape Victims: Crippled law cares little

Compensation for rape victims and their family members remains elusive in the existing criminal justice system, with a clear mandate absent in the relevant law, say legal experts.