• Petitioned H.E. Sheikh Hasina

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister of Bangladesh
H.E. Sheikh Hasina

Stand with the Women of Grameen Bank to Prevent Violation of their Rights

    1. Petition by

      Microcredit Summit Campaign

Note:  This petition is also posted in French and Spanish. Please do not sign both but do share these links with friends or colleagues whose language is not English.

Grameen Bank has long been a leader not only in microfinance and poverty-reduction efforts, but also in its work empowering poor, rural women of Bangladesh. It has been a much-emulated model for the rest of the world. Women make up 97 percent of Grameen Bank’s borrowers, own more than 95 percent of the equity in the bank, and are represented by 9 of the 13 seats on the Board of Directors. These women owners shared in the Nobel Peace Prize given to Grameen Bank and its founder, Professor Muhammad Yunus in 2006.

Today the independence of Grameen Bank and the ownership shares of its women clients are threatened by the actions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh. Over the past few years Prime Minister Hasina has led efforts by her government to force Professor Yunus out of his position as managing director of the Bank. The government has now appointed a commission to look into the operations of Grameen Bank and make recommendations as to its future leadership. This commission is widely seen as a way for the government to take control of the Grameen Bank from its women borrower-owners. Any additional interference by the government in the authority of Grameen’s Board of Directors would be an enormous setback to the human and legal rights of these women. Such action would send a very dangerous signal about threats to the autonomy of all of civil society institutions in Bangladesh.

With less than two months until the Bangladesh government-appointed commission releases its recommendations for the future of the Grameen Bank, it is essential we use every tool at our disposal to urge Prime Minister Hasina to protect the independence of the Bank and its borrowers. Sign this petition and let your voice be heard.

The video featured above is a trailer for the movie Bonsai People by Holly Mosher, the first film that looks at the work of Muhammad Yunus from microcredit through to social business.  

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Save the bank: Appeals shocked Nobel hero

      The Bangladesh Cabinet of the Government ratchets up the stakes. Here's an excerpt of the article:
      Prof. Yunus said, "This government decision will destroy the bank of the poor and the country's bank of pride. I request the countrymen to come forward to protect the property of the poor and the country. I also request the poor owners of Grameen Bank to urge the government and their fellow countrymen so that they do not curb their rights to exercise ownership." Click the link to read Prof Yunus' entire statement reacting to the Cabinet's decision.

      Please share this petition with your friends and colleagues.

      And here is a statement from RESULTS: http://www.results.org/newsroom/results_dismayed_over_bangladeshi_government_takeover_of_grameen_banks_lead/

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. Clean Energy Access For All: Grameen Installs Over 500 Solar Homes Systems

      Grameen Shakti ("rural energy") is one of the social businesses created under the leadership of Prof Yunus and is also under review by the Commission of Inquiry.

      *What is at stake?*
      * "By the end of the year [Grameen Shakti] will have installed a total of one million solar systems and now has expansion plans to install five million systems by 2015."
      * Grameen Shakti (GS) tailors the project to the needs of its customers (the poorest of the poor in rural areas)
      * GS places its agents in the rural communities, so it's response time in catastrophic events like floods and cyclones is exponentially faster than traditional emergency services (see the story of Cyclone Sidr)
      * GS provides jobs to women and men -- even those who don't have a high school education (see the story of Kohinur)

      If the government takes over control of Grameen Bank and the Grameen social businesses, will they still be able to run as effectively?

    5. Reached 1,000 signatures
    6. 1000 signatures, 70 countries, 21 endorsing orgs to support Grameen Bank

      Responding to our call for solidarity with Grameen Bank and its borrowers, more than 1000 people from 70 countries have signed this petition to help protect the independence of this institution. See why people support the petition.

      Also, 21 microfinance institutions (MFIs) and international organizations have endorsed our petition. See who: http://microcreditsummitcampaignblog.blogspot.com/

      SHARE THE PETITION in support of the independence of Grameen Bank now. *Our goal: 5,000 signatures by August 17*

      Key points to share with your friends:
      * 97% of Grameen Bank’s 8.3 million borrowers are women
      * 96% of the shares of Grameen Bank owned by clients
      * 9 of the 13 board seats controlled by clients
      * US$1 billion in Grameen Bank members' personal savings accounts.

    7. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Lou Louxans ATHENS, GREECE
      • about 2 years ago

      Workers need opportunity

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Md. Nasim Iqbal DIST: CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH
      • about 2 years ago

      To save Grameen Bank from the Dirty plan of Hasinas govt

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lise Warren MONTMAGNY, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      Such great initiatives should be honored worldwide. I sign in support of these women and their families and to salute their accomplishment, in hope it will flourish instead of being destroyed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Fiona Faucher CALGARY, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      It's heartbreaking that all of the progress that the women of Bangladesh could be wiped out for the misguided political aspirations of their so-called leader.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rosaline Costa DHAKA, BANGLADESH
      • about 2 years ago

      Because the women of Bangladesh need this support. As GB has given the millions of poor women a way to find their way to be financially empowered, they need to sustain this opportunity which the PM or anyone cannot deprive them from being empowered. Dr. Yunus has opened the first door for the women think for their future. So I wish Yunus and the women's organisation Grameen Bank to sustain for the on-going development of our women.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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