Building gender-focused knowledge through storytelling | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 16, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:53 PM, April 16, 2021

NURTURING DREAMS

Building gender-focused knowledge through storytelling

Meye Network, a platform that combats gender-based injustice, was founded by Trishia Nashtaran in 2011. Trishia is one of the 22 changemakers who were selected for the 2021 cohort of Acumen Fellows in Bangladesh. The intensive year-long fellowship builds the skills, attributes, and values of moral leadership through different seminars.

 In her engineering job, Trishia tackled many discriminatory questions over time. The last straw was an incident where Trishia's female boss utilised her gender as a cause to discredit her work ethic.

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When she went back to her desk, still furious and shocked, Trishia wanted to talk about her experience with someone. Eventually, she opened a Facebook group named Meye, where she invited her female friends to converse about the various aspects of gender-based discrimination.

Over the years, the activities of Meye expanded to other intersections of discrimination and evolved organically into Meye Network. The platform has been running a Facebook page of the same name since 2012. Today, Meye Network is a women-led, multifaceted platform that believes in equity through advocacy and activities with people of all genders.

Meye Network aims to work towards the cultural shift that is essential for creating safe spaces for everyone to work with dignity. Shondhi, a project by Meye Network, originated in 2013 as a response to the Rana Plaza tragedy. It provides aid to those in need during natural or man-made hazards.

Shondhi has been working with children of female sex workers in Bangladesh, tiger-widows from the Sundarbans, and victims of flash floods and communal attacks in different parts of Bangladesh.

Rangtaa, the entrepreneurship wing of Meye Network, organises events and services to facilitate local businesses and support the platform financially. Ognie by Meye Network provides solutions to gender-specific problems through storytelling and design thinking.

"The stories shared by the women in Meye Network are testimonies of their realities. The more we take a solid stance to share our lived experiences, the more likely we are to yield in necessary changes," concludes Trishia.

 

The author is a freelance journalist. Write to her at nawarzareen@gmail.com.

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