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Bonhishikha - unlearn gender

: 16/7/2020
Head of organisation
: Tasaffy M. Hossain
Contact Persons
: Syeda Samara Mortada
Contact Persons Email

About the organisation

Bonhishikha- unlearn gender

Bonhishikha – unlearn gender is a feminist organisation that is committed to the promotion of gender equality and justice across all spectrums in Bangladesh. We aim to provide an unbiased platform for all people to tell their stories, to advocate for women’s rights, to promote uniform access to opportunities and raise awareness on gender based violence.

Our Vision 

To inspire an ideal world where women, men and all people of diverse gender identities are able to challenge gendered barriers and support each other towards an equal existence.

Our Mission

To advance gender equality through freedom of expression.

Our Journey

Bonhishikha started under the banner of VDAY Dhaka in 2010, being the first to bring The Vagina Monologues to the stage in Bangladesh. The show highlights women’s issues across the globe, and addresses taboo topics such as female sexuality, menstruation, and pleasure.

Bangladeshi audiences lauded the show and its message to encourage women and men to challenge patriarchal norms and address issues of gender-based violence.

Following the success of the V Day shows, the group of volunteers adopted the name Bonhishikha – unlearn gender. Our volunteers shifted focus on stories closer to home, in Dhaka and around urban Bangladesh.

The team started capturing and documenting real life stories of women from around Bangladesh to highlight the gender barriers and obstructions that women face every day. This collection of stories led to the production of ‘It’s A SHE Thing’ in 2015. The show provided a safe space for young urban women to find solidarity, friendship, a support system, and encouraged feminist leadership and reflection.

After the success of ‘It’s A SHE Thing’ we moved forward with other theatre productions- ‘Men don’t TALK’, a collection of experiences from men growing up in Dhaka, performed for the first time in 2016. The production was led by men, projecting what they faced and manoeuvred as they aimed to establish their identities matching the demands of being a man. The show covered issues on masculine stereotypes, fatherhood, sexuality, emotional expression, depression, and failure as defined by manhood.

In 2017, the Bangla version of It’s A SHE Thing was launched, called ‘Nari Nokkhotro’. This was when we broadened our focus on stories, of not just women but of men and marginalised communities.

In 2020, Bonhishikha released their latest production, ‘Spectrum of Choice’. The group adapted to the pandemic by releasing an online show that aimed to promote ideas of choice and diversity in terms of expression, behaviour, love, and relationships, topics that are rarely explored within the Bangladeshi context.

What We Do

Showcasing stories of resilience, success and strength, Bonhishikha has been aiming to use storytelling to create understanding about gender issues and encourage challenging the current systems.

Currently, Bonhishikha is working on creating safe spaces. We work to enable reflections on gender and privilege, challenging power dynamics, and envisioning new possibilities of a more equal future. We use feminist principles while keeping women’s and marginalized communities’ experiences at its core.

Within the team of Bonhishikha, there is a combined experience of over 15 years in working on creating awareness, researching using a feminist lens, and focusing on different approaches that focus on challenging gender barriers, conditioning and societal norms around power dynamics. Conducting research, GAP analysis, assessments, theatre productions, workshops, sensitization trainings, interactive discussions and producing communication materials on topics of gender roles, stereotypes, understanding the power dynamics that lead to violation of human rights has been a core role of Bonhishikha – unlearn gender. In different missions and assignments, applied methodologies included Bottom-up Story Telling, Feminist Participatory Research Approach, Market Systems Development, Value Chain Development, Market for Poor, to increase and ensure the participation of women in development initiatives and projects.

In recent years, Bonhishikha has worked with different types of institutions, both among the private and non-government sectors aiming to promote a conducive environment for diversity and tolerance. Some of these organisations are: multiple UN agencies in Bangladesh including UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, USAID, US Embassy; Telenor Health, iDE, Save the Children Bangladesh, Nagorik Uddyog, Plan International, Malala Fund,, etc.; academic institutions like North South University, BRAC University, and different madrassas.

To learn more, visit our website and social media pages:

Bonhishikha website | LinkedIn | Facebook| Instagram | YouTube

Contact us:

SRHR publications/research

Bonhishikha – unlearn gender is a feminist organisation committed to the promotion of gender equality and justice across all spectrum. To advance gender equality through freedom of expression, Bonhishikha engages with various stakeholders to get to the crux of the issues and aims to shift norms and narratives by looking at existing evidence. It has always been the organisation’s aim to provide an unbiased platform for all to tell their stories, to advocate for women’s rights, SRHR for all, to promote uniform access to opportunities and raise awareness on gender based violence. Furthermore, the coordinator and programme coordinator of Bonhishikha has extensive knowledge and expertise in SRHR as they have been working into SRHR field for an extensive period of time.

Apart from that, Bonhishikha, in recent years, has conducted several researches which have components of SRHR. For instance, the team at Bonhishikha conducted a research for Save the Children International titled ‘Market Assessment for Sustainable Alternative Livelihoods of the Sex Workers’ and parts of the research explored the SRHR scenario of Sex Workers in the Rajbari (Daulatdia brothel) and Faridpur (Town brothel and C&B Ghat brothel). Furthermore, the research titled ‘Gender, age and Inclusion Analysis in the families of Sponsored Children to understand existing inequalities, underlying reasons and its effect on sponsor children, adolescents, youth and their families’ which was conducted for Plan International also documented the SRHR of women and girls across all spectrum in the project areas.

To sum it up, Bonhishikha has been actively working for SRHR and has experts to support its future interventions and therefore wants to join Share-Net Bangladesh as a member so that it can effectively work towards its aim of ensuring SRHR for all.