Khadija Akter- A Self-Confident Volunteer

Khadija Akter is an inhabitant of Baluakanda village of Kailati union under Netrakona sadar upazila of Netrakona district. She is the member of Kailati Village Women Group and Secretary of Kailati Union Network Group. Kadhija Akter observed different social problems on women and thought to overcome the situation. Khadija did not have much interest before to participate in the arbitration. But in the discussion of the village women group, she realized that it is important for women to play an effective role in addressing women issues. She feels the need to prevent child marriage and violence against women in the village. If a woman arbitrator

participates in the rural arbitration; it helps the female member to get justice. Initially, her husband was not positive because his wife is involved in such work where female have lots of risks. She is continuing to work to address incidents of violence against women in the area. In this way, she gained acceptance in society, because she is kind and unbiased. At one stage, she won the local government election at Kailati Union Parishad of Netrakona sadar upazila of Netrakona district, and opportunities to work for women have been increased. Now, she is participating actively in different salish as an arbitrator.

People call for Khadija Akter whenever there is any incident of child marriage, violence against women, and family quarrel in her village. After receiving the complaint, she discusses the incident with the village women group. If the matter is arbitral, she resolves the matter amicably through arbitration with other arbitrators of the area. If there is no arbitral incident, she contacts the police station or asks the survivors to contact the police station. If the survivors are poor, she sends the case to the government legal aid fund.No child marriage can take place in the area under the leadership of Khadija with the help of Village Women Group members. In this way, her reputation is spreading beyond the area.

Khadija Akter has received training on Gender Sensitive Arbitration, Leadership Development, Law, Rights and Gender in connection with the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Project. From the training, she learned about the laws and rights for women. During this time,

she realized the need for the active participation of women in arbitration. From group discussions and various training, she became aware of ideal arbitration. Khadija provides a creative solution to the arbitration which makes trust among other arbitrators to her.SUS, the law enforcement agency, the chairman of the area, and the local arbitrator helped her a lot.

The number of child marriages and abuse of women were very high in Baluakanda village of Kailati union. Even one of her daughter was a victim of child marriage. Gambling, drugs, violence against women and child marriage rate have been decreased significantly due to regular presence of law enforcement officers in the area. The campaign of Khadija Akter and her group members has created public opinion against the illegal game in the area. In case of any incident of child marriage or violence against women in the area; Union Parishad, SUS and Police Station are informed. After finding out the truth of the incident, it is decided to take into local arbitration if the incident is under arbitration. If any incident occurs then the members of the women and men groups of the area immediately raise public opinion and protest against the incident. If necessary, they inform the law enforcement organization. In case of any incident of violence against women or child marriage in the area, the chairman of the union council requests Khadija Akter to investigate the incident. Members of the law enforcement agencies also respect Khadija Aktar enough. Now, Khadija is favorite of the people by her selfless efforts and working for the benefits of the people. She is moving forward avoiding all obstacles and risks.

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