This page is to introduce UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative) and its various activities. UBINIG is a policy and action research organization in Bangladesh, formed in 1984 by a group of activists to support peoples' movement for social, economic, political and cultural transformation. Originating as a study circle searching for alternatives to the mainstream development intervention, it soon became an organisation enabling communities to solve their problems of life and livelihood and articulating and advocating on their behalf for positive change at the policy level. The objective was to make policy making oriented to people and the process more transparent and inclusive serving the interest of the majority of the people.
UBINIG stands against all forms of predatory interventions and hierarchical relations destroying conditions of life. livelihood and the joy of living, foreclosing the possible unity among people across diverse cultures and geographies.
By defending dignity, diversity, livelihood and communities We are working to create an authentic global community where we all can live in peace and joy.
Narigrantha Prabartana is Women’s Resource Centre and runs a bookstore. It is a place for women and also an active space for social activism and policy advocacy. By its very presence as a Women Book Store and intellectual resources for activist women, Narigrantha symbolises resistance against patraiarchy. Women from any backgropund can meet, interact and organize their own events through Narigrantha Prabartana.
Narigrantha Prabartana keeps books published by different organisations, individuals and publishers. These are available to purchase or read. As a publisher, Narigrantha Prabartana publishes books, pamphlets, posters and other important research works to facilitate women’s movement.
Sramabikash Kendra: Defending Worker’s Rights
Sramabikash Kendra is the trade union and development education wing of UBINIG. In English the name translates into “Centre for Labour Education and Development”. It aims to bridge the gap between research and worker’s initiatives to develop healthy environment in trade union activities of Bangladesh.
Apart from trade union and development education, Sramabikash Kendra plays strong advocacy role with regard to policies that affect the lives of workers. It also plays crucial catalytic role in generating discussions and debates, particularly among the general workers and the trade union leaders on the issues of industrialisation and trade union issues.
Since 1986, UBINIG is active among workers with special attention to women. The emergence of female labours in garment sector has been noticed since 1985 but the major inflow occurred during the decade of eighties and continuing until to day. For a long time women-workers remained unnoticed by the development organisations. The workers were not aware of the legal rights to form unions and improve working conditions. There were particular gaps existed in the works of the trade unions to address the question of female workers. The policy of export oriented industrialisation relaxed factory regulations and labour laws. Therefore, it was necessary to understand the situation of the workers in garment industries, shrimp processing industries and informal sector thoroughly to undertake policy measures for improved working condition and factory management as well as to ensure the right of the workers.
The effects of Structural Adjustment and lending policies of multilateral agencies, especially privatisation, deregulation and de-unionisation of the workers of Bangladesh are the key research concern of Sramabikash Kendra. It also monitors the WTO negotiations, particularly Labour Standard debates and Social Clause issues and informs the workers about the possible consequences of liberalised international trade and agreements.
Nobopran Andolon is a cultural movement in Bangladesh that reclaims popular philosphical discourses often known as Bhokti-Sufi-Boyati traditions. These cultural and oral knowledge practices has been ceaselessly challenging various forms of hierarchical oppression such as caste, class and patriarchy. These movements are generally grounded upon the philosophy of love, care and responsibility to others and oppose all forms of violence and oppression. Through poetry, music and theatrical performance Bhokti-Sufi-Boyati traditions play powerful role in defining the meaning of community and community relations till today.
Nobapran Andolon works closely wth Nayakrishi Andolon, the biodiversity-based ecological movement.
This page is about UBINIG research on harmful effects of tobacco cultivation on food production, environment and human health as well as farmers initiatives to stop tobacco cultivation and shift to food crops. It also has information about use and sale of smokeless tobacco products that affects women directly.
This page about UBINIG's position of depopulating Bangladesh and introduction of hazardous contraceptives in Bangladesh
Uncultivated food is a major area of work of UBINIG, implemented through the farmer's ecological movement known as Nayakrishi Andolon. Because of the crucial importance of uncultivated food, we have a separate section on this issue.
The high proportion of uncultivated food in the diets of people living in communities where local biodiversity has been conserved is significant, especially considering the nutritional contribution of micro-nutrients supplied by these food sources, in contrast to the carbohydrates provided by rice alone. Leafy greens, tubers and small fish are the main sources of nutrition that keep the rural population active, productive, and relatively disease free. The contribution of uncultivated food in this context is not merely a matter of satisfying hunger or overcoming stress conditions, it is an essential part of the diet that must be ensured, along with community relations linking fishers, farmers and trades people in a web of economic and social transactions.
The link between poverty and drgradation of uncultivated food sources is generally ignored in policy decisions. This section will cover the role of uncultivated food for the livelihood and survival of the rural population.
Using biological entities and processes as technological means to produce various products is nothing new in human history. Making yogurts or various kinds of fermentation and natural techniques used in food preparations can be easiliy called biotechnology as long as they do not threatens the integrity of the life forms as they naturally occur.
The contest over the definition of biotechnology roared when gene insertion from a different species into another life forms, threatening its naturally ocurring integrity, is also termed as ‘biotechnology’. Engineering of the life forms, manipulation at the genetic code and using unsafe insertion techniques raised various ethical, moral, political, cultural and biosafety issues that are new and must be addrressed properly. The debate entered into highly politicised terrain because of the scientific manipulation of the facts by transnational companies who are desperate to commercialise GMOs; in addition, some bilateral and multilateral agencies also attempt to introduce GMOS in countries where leagal and regulatory frameworkds is absent. As a result, biotechnology and genetic engineering became a menace rather than being an exploratio in science and technology for the common benefit of mankind.
This page is to address these issse that includes wide range of technologies manipulation such as tissue culture, protoplast fusion, cell mutagenesis, genetic engineering, etc. Together these comprise a powerful technical force to produce or modify biological foundation of life in a global scenarion where profit making is the only motivating goal of survival and countries like Bangladesh ends up always being a victim.
This page contains articles related to health and nutrition. The functioning of an effective healthcare system is essential as the majority of the poor people depend mostly on public healthcare services. The privatisation and commercialisation of health 'services' is expanding gradually even in the rural areas causing huge financial impact on the people seeking healthcare.
UBINIG has field based information on the knowledge and practices of rural people about nutrition that they can get from the cultivated food crops, fruits, livestock and poultry as well as from uncultivated sources. For maternal health care and nutrition, the traditional birth attendants (Dais) practice participatory methods for sharing knowledge on nutrition through Nutrition Pyramid exercise.
This page is about UBINIG's activities, interventions and positions on various issues of environment, ecology and biodiversity
UBINIG has been working on women's health issues for a long time. We are working with traditional birth attendants since 1990. They are commonly known as Dais. We are working on integrating healthcare system into the services provided by Dais at the village level. The goal is to reduce maternal and child deaths.The Dais are organised as a network called Nayakrishi Dai Samity. We are also working with nutrition and safe food as a way to prevent diseases.
NARIGRANTHA, UBINIG and Odhikar jointly organised activities to celebrate 100 Years of Women's Struggles to defend life, livelihood, dignity and community from 6 – 8 March, 2010. Bangladeshi women are proud of the strong base of the movement although women everywhere in the world are yet to achieve the goal defeating patriarchy, reinforced by economic, social and political oppressions.
In the following pages you will find reports on the following activities: (a) WOMEN IN BLACK, (b) EXHIBITION (particularly 100 years of quilt weaving -- women expressing their lives creatively) (c) ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION and (d) WOMEN"S TRIBUNAL Please contact Narigrantha Prabartana. 2/8 Sir Syed Road, Muhammedpur, Dhaka -1207, Bangladesh. Tel: 9118428, 9140812 e-mail:
Do not forget to join Women's Adda s on every Monday of the week at Narigrantha.