In honor of International Day of the Girl, USAID collaborated with the American Center of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to gather more than 40 students (girls and boys) from a USAID education program and a local school to spotlight the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The attendees, ages 6 to 14, engaged in a fun interactive game using a poster entitled “Promoting Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence in Girls.” The poster depicts “Tuktuki,” a girl character from the USAID-funded Sisimpur (Sesame Street) television show, working in different professions and participating in various activities. The poster also serves as a board game, and will be distributed in at least 1,500 schools across Bangladesh with the purpose of engaging students to raise awareness about girls’ empowerment and to learn the different roles that girls can play in society. The participants at the event were actively involved in the game and took pictures with Sisimpur characters Tuktuki and Halum.

In Bangladesh, girls are vulnerable to gender-based discrimination and violence, including domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, acid throwing and dowry-related crime. However, there are also many success stories of women and girls in Bangladesh overcoming these challenges. One program that was highlighted during the event was USAID’s five-year long Protecting Human Rights (PHR) project, implemented by Plan Bangladesh in partnership with Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, International Center for Research on Women and 18 local non-governmental organizations. The program aims to reduce the high prevalence of domestic violence in Bangladesh and to address other human rights violations, among them sexual harassment, child marriage and other root causes of domestic violence.