Women in focus: Stories of light and hope

International Women’s Day through the lens of char women in agriculture  

by Tahmeed Chaudhury
March 12, 2024

Women have been a driving force in communities where Friendship is active, contributing to the improvement of lives, livelihoods, economic opportunities and health. Many women have crossed hurdles to become self-sufficient and financially independent, with some becoming the breadwinner in their families. This photo-story chronicles the impact of char women in agriculture in remote, hard-to-reach and climate-impacted areas.

These photographs were also featured in the exhibition titled “Water, Light and Hope”, jointly hosted by Friendship and Standard Chartered Bangladesh on International Women’s Day.

©Friendship/KM Asad

Fruits of her labour

A woman beaming as her bottle gourd cultivation springs to life.
Photographer: KM Asad

©Friendship/KM Asad

Progress and sustainability, together

Women in chars, alongside their male counterparts, have been actively contributing towards a sustainable society.

Photographer: KM Asad

©Friendship/Suman Ghosh

Training women for a better tomorrow

Char women are trained on agriculture and farming techniques, provided vegetable seeds and are provided with access to markets to improve their economic circumstances.

Photographer: Suman Ghosh


Chars and corn: a heavenly match

Women excel in cultivation of corn, one of a few vegetables that are suited to the char environment.

Photographer: Friendship

©Friendship/Abir Abdullah

Towards financial independence, one livestock at a time

Char women are trained to purchase, rear, fatten and raise livestock, such as cows and goats, which they can later sell for profits.

Photographer: Abir Abdullah

©Friendship/Quddus Alam

Improving food security

Women are some of the most enthusiastic, hardworking and successful farmers in chars, contributing towards improving the overall food security in their communities.

Photographer: Quddus Alam

©Friendship/Quddus Alam

Empowerment leads to sustainability

Education, training and employment opportunities bolster women and allow them to attain financial freedom.

Photographer: Quddus Alam

©Friendship/Quddus Alam

Empowerment knows no bounds

Many women take charge of household affairs, becoming the breadwinner and helping ends meet.

Photographer: Quddus Alam

©Friendship/Quddus Alam

A better future for their children

Char women understand the value of education and prioritise sending their children to school and teaching them ethics.

Photographer: Quddus Alam

©Friendship/Tawhid Bin Haque

A driving force

Women have become a beacon of hope for maginalised char communities.

Photographer: Tawhid Bin Haque

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