You motivate us to perform better, guide us to adhere to our values, inspire us with your sincerity, and lead us with your vision. At SAJIDA, we are fortunate to have such a bundle of passionate and ever-enthusiastic women working in different spheres: from the field to our hospital, and at the head office. We are privileged to see wondrous results, grace and compassion go hand in hand. We appreciate the efforts you put in to make each task effortlessly successful and adapt to handle any situation which you come across daily. From one woman to another, Happy International Women’s Day!

Zahida Fizza Kabir
CEO, SAJIDA Foundation

Women Leading SAJIDA

SAJIDA Foundation

Mrs. Kabir has decades of experience in philanthropic work. After completing her Honours in Psychology and Philosophy and a Masters degree in the latter, she worked as a psychologist and social worker at Nari Punarbasan Kendra. Afterwards she worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
In the later phase of her career, she served as a Director of Renata Limited, and as Chairperson of SAJIDA Foundation. Mrs. Kabir is a former board member of BRAC, Life Member of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh and is currently serving as Vice President and Secretary General of the Society for Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled.

SAJIDA Foundation

Ms. Zahida Fizza Kabir has been a part of the Foundation since its beginning, previously serving as its Executive Director and Head of Programs. Mrs. Kabir is currently also the board member of Renata Limited, Credit Development Forum (CDF), and International Network for Alternative Financial Institutions (INAGI). She is also the Chairperson of Psychological Mental Health and Wellness Clinic and Managing Director of Home Community and Care Limited.

Ms. Zahida Fizza Kabir holds a Masters Degree in International and Intercultural Management from Vermont, USA, and a Post Graduate Diploma in “Organizational Leadership”, from Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Women Changemaker of SAJIDA

Rubina Jahan: Breaking Gender Stereotypes and Living the Life of Dreams

Being a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant General Manager at SAJIDA’s Mental Health Program, Rubina Jahan has seen her fair share of discrimination and gender inequality when counselling women. As much as she believes that Gender Equality is all about the freedom to pursue any career, lifestyle choice or path that a woman may want in her life, there are still days she herself is unable to practice her belief.

While Rubina believes that we are slowly progressing towards the greater good as a nation, as a woman, she still finds it a challenge to move and use public transport without fear of sexual and physical harassment, or wear the dresses she loves without being judged, or have her abilities questioned based solely on her gender, among many other day-to-day issues.

Yet, like the millions of other resilient women of Bangladesh, Rubina Jahan braves the storms and soldiers on with her ideas of a gender-equal world. She looks at the world before her through the gender lens, making herself and others around her more aware of the gender stereotypes that are prevalent. Through her line of work and experience in life, she has learned to value and respect everyone equally irrespective of their gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity both in her personal and professional life. Not only has she been a successful changemaker at SAJIDA through her key contribution towards mental health wellbeing, Rubina is also one of the invaluable women leaders who have made a dent in the inequality sphere that surrounds us.

Nusrat Jahan: Building and Empowering Women Leaders

For a 52-year-old Nusrat Jahan, Senior Coordinator of SAJIDA’s Working with Women Phase II Program, her life and career has revolved mostly around working to create a Gender Equal world. Through her work at SAJIDA Foundation, Nusrat Jahan has been working to empower women through raising awareness about gender-based violence and mental health wellbeing, information dissemination on sexual harassment and where to find help, and the creation of a safe space for women to work alongside men at the same capacity.

Nusrat strives to instill leadership qualities in all the women she comes across in her life by ensuring their inclusion in decision-making activities and are able to participate in all areas of life-altering opportunities. Nonetheless, she also had to establish herself first as a capable employee before she was accepted by all her peers and supervisors. Yet at the end of the day, Nusrat Jahan believes her work and efforts were all worth it when she was able to stop a child-marriage. To this day, this has been one of her greatest accomplishments in her life and she takes pride in what she does.

For Nusrat, a gender equal world is still a way ahead. However, if she is able to empower one woman to take charge of her life, fight against abuse, take control of her life, and work shoulder to shoulder with a man without being discriminated, she believes that her life’s mission is being fulfilled.

Nigar Fatima: Challenging Boundaries and Leading by Example

Nigar Fatima, Assistant Coordinator at SAJIDA Hospital’s Quality Control and Training, is one of the many hundreds of women who fought at the frontlines during the pandemic. She is no stranger to the horrors of COVID-19 and how it is capable of tearing families and communities apart. For the 27-year-old Nigar, the dangers of this life-threatening virus did not stop her from stepping up to do her duty at the frontlines, and neither did her gender.
Nigar wholeheartedly believes that gender equality means both men and women enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities, and safety. As such, she has successfully overcome the societal chains that tried to hold her back from reaching her full potential. Instead, Nigar rose to the occasion and took control of her own life. With her family cheering her on, she worked in research and now working to save lives with SAJIDA Foundation, all while living by herself.
Although in her personal life she regularly breaks gender stereotypes and has made a space for herself, there is still much to be done for all the other women who have not been so privileged. For Nigar, there is still the issue of the daily hassle for a woman; the lack of security in public spaces, not feeling like they belong, not having equal opportunities, lack of women in leaderships roles, along with the ongoing discrimination and prejudice that women are surrounded with.
Nigar is proud of her dedication and courage to fight in the pandemic. She hopes and prays that she could be a symbol of hope for many women like her, that she could encourage others to follow and break the shackles of a discriminating society to find their true potential. She hopes that through her work at SAJIDA Foundation, she is able to lead others the same way she was motivated to challenge her own boundaries.

Nayma Khanum: Building Stronger Women with Financial Stability

Nayma Khanum has been working at SAJIDA Foundation for the last 17 years, empowering women in parts of the country where gender equality is still close to a myth, and providing them with financial stability. As Senior Branch Manager at SAJIDA’s Microfinance program, Nayma plays a crucial role in ensuring flexible and customized financial services to the underbanked communities, and especially women entrepreneurs.

However, the job comes with its own set of obstacles that Nayma has to overcome on a regular basis. Working with a wide spectrum of communities with individuals from all walks of life, she has to work harder to gain their confidence and trust. Often her male counterparts are given preference over her no matter how great she is at what she does. Nayma continues to be wary of public transport and commute because of male stares. In both her professional and personal life, Nayma continues to give her all, and then some, to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Yet despite all that, she continues to carry forward because she understands the impact her work has on all those women who are fighting the patriarchy much harder. She is able to practice her beliefs of equal opportunity for all through giving out loans specifically to women who then invest it in their future. Nayma understands that if not today, then tomorrow women will lead and take control of their own lives. So she chooses to challenge gender stereotypes and continues to fight.

Umme Sauda: Inspiring Women and Instilling Hope

For the 33-year-old Umme Sauda, Project Manager at SAJIDA Foundation’s WASH Program, gender discrimination started close to home. Her parents had to work harder to support their daughters’ academic life when relatives were trying to force them to get married instead. She was often victim to eve teasing, rude comments on the streets, and even from relatives when Umme was trying to keep at her best. It went as far as saying that all her successes and career progressions were all due to her gender being favoured more than her abilities.

Pleasingly, Umme Sauda’s success and good standing in society was a rude awakening for all. She is well known in the community she works for and is often highly regarded by her peers and subordinates alike. Umme is a beacon of hope and resilience for women around her, as she preaches gender equality and breaking the stereotype. She is set on the mission to break the misconception that women cannot work on the same level as men, and through her work ethics and continued determination with support from SAJIDA Foundation, she hopes to inspire more women to take control of their own lives.

SAJIDA’s Initiatives for Women

Working With Women Phase 2

SAJIDA Foundation works with partners to ensure a violence free, safer workplace for female RMG workers by providing training to factory workers, mid-level management, welfare officers, as well as male garment workers on gender-based violence and mental health wellbeing.

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In order to address lack of inadequate facilities and WASH needs of female students  in rural parts of the country, SAJIDA Foundation stepped up in establishing dedicated female WASH blocks supplemented by Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) chambers in remote areas of the country.

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SAJIDA Foundation, a woman-led organization, focuses greatly on ensuring gender-equality alongside the issues concerning women of all ages. To that end, our Microfinance offers a completely separate portfolio – Suchona,  targeted solely towards women entrepreneurs.

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SAJIDA Foundation in association with ADHUNIKA Foundation has partnered to empower and involve women in development activities through a programmatic approach. We help young women become financially and socially independent. by providing accessibility to health, education, jobs, training and enfranchisement in decision making. 

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Amrao Manush

Through the interlinked aspects of its various programs, SAJIDA caters to different segments, addresses unique issues, and works towards solving the overarching problem of inequality in all its forms. Amrao Manush specially offers women and girls night shelter, vocational training to aid inclusion in economic development, as well as day-care centres for working mothers.

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To enable women in becoming more and more self-sufficient over time, through collaboration with partners, PROSHOMON provides free maternal health services in urban areas where quality healthcare is inadequate or underdeveloped. 

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Paying Tribute to Naila Zahan

In observance of International Women’s Day on 8th March, we would like to inaugurate the month with a tribute to our beloved Naila Zahan, Assistant General Manager of Human Resource Management, for her remarkable efforts in upholding the values of SAJIDA Foundation. Her dedication and resilience in achieving SAJIDA’s vision of health, happiness and dignity for all, stands as a true example of all that SAJIDA stands for.

“We pay tribute to Naila Zahan, an embodiment of dedication, resilience and remarkable kindness”