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Gender and local governance: Experiences of women representatives in Bangladesh

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dc.contributor.author Khan, Nazneen Islam
dc.date.accessioned 2019-12-03T03:47:01Z
dc.date.available 2019-12-03T03:47:01Z
dc.date.issued 2015-05-10
dc.identifier.uri http://localhost:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/1421
dc.description This thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study on “Gender and Local Governance: Experiences of Women Representatives in Bangladesh” was undertaken to examine political e empowerment of the women in Local Government. Multifarious factors including socio-economical back ground, lack of educational background and lack of political participation of women in the grassroots level (Union Parishad) are said to be responsible for the gender inequity in Bangladesh. Gender participation and sensitization in political and administrative structures is a very important key to a representative and responsive government. It is an important dimension of governance as democracy, politics, rule of law and human rights are involved in this issue. Gender in fact, is a crosscutting theme in the governance. Recent emphasis on gender representation in local government by development planners and policy advocates gives the issue more significance in the overall context of local governance reform and development policies. No doubt, as a step of women empowerment, the elected reserve seats for women helps to promote participation and women access to the decision-making process numerically, though not practically much ensured. Due to socio-political and religious bindings, elected women cannot play their role and thus people’s aspiration and expectation to them were not met up. Women’s empowerment is not an issue or debate related to women, it is an issue of development of our society as women are about the half of the total population. In increasing the number of women in decision making positions does not in itself translate into greater empowerment for women. Measures to increase the number of women representatives need to be accompanied by measures to improve the quality of participation. The aim of the research is to study the implications of the use of reserved seats in local government of Bangladesh in terms of gender and women’s political empowerment. In course of the study few hypotheses have been tested. First of all, that the political participation of women in local level politics is conspicuously meager in Bangladesh mainly due to their economic dependence on male and their low level of education and socio economic structure. This study looks at the status and potentials of rural local government in Bangladesh focusing on the Union Parishad women members and local people’s experiences. According to the findings it is not possible to make conclusion that the reserved seats for women representatives is ‘effective’ or ‘non effective’ regarding women’s political empowerment instead this must be seen in the context of the electoral system, the role of the ruling political party and the structural and functions of the local government. The local government of Bangladesh is lacking both resources as well as authorities which constrain women’s ability to act accordingly in point of fact, there is no discrepancy between the number of elected women and the practice of direct election seems to be strengthening the legitimacy of the elected women.The implementation of a quota system becomes an instrument to compensate for structural barriers. There have also been structural changes in terms of gender and it seems that the reserved seats have had consequences beyond political empowerment such including social empowerment. Outcome of this research on gender equity shows that there is a crucial need for a gender specific development paradigm into all areas of policy making and development planning so that women’s needs and aspirations can be met and their fullest participation in the political process ensured accordingly. Decentralization has been identified as one of the important prerequisites to ensure gender balance into development process. The essence of good governance and the success of a local government depend on people’s participation. An effective local government system is essential to develop decentralized and meaningful democratic governance in order to achieve economic development and social stability in Bangladesh. Recently, in local governance women representatives have been able to exercise their new roles in more constructive ways. However, unequal participation of women and men in the government planning acts as a barrier to ensure good governance. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Dhaka en_US
dc.title Gender and local governance: Experiences of women representatives in Bangladesh en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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