ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
2227-202X (Online)
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Role of Women in Local Government in Bangladesh A Study of the Union Parishad
Md. Mohiuddin, Nishat Afroze Ahmed

This paper examines the role of elected women representatives in the Union Parishad (UP), the lowest unit of rural local government in Bangladesh. The number of women representatives in recent years has apparently reached the ‘critical mass’ stage considered being extremely important for women empowerment.  The paper finds that notwithstanding a surge in the number of women members caused mostly by the implementation of the quota reservation policy, ‘critical acts’ do not receive any serious attention. Women are also often deprived of their due share in decision-making and programme implementation. The paper explores reasons that account for the gap between the law and behavior of the role actors. The paper argues that the quota reservation policy matters as it has brought about some kind of qualitative change in the role perception and behavior of women members. What is needed is to adopt measures to make it work better. To do that, Bangladesh may learn lessons from others, especially India’s, experience.

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