Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol 53, No 2 (2009)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

Resistance in the Process of Women’s Political Participation in Local Governance: The Bangladesh Experience

Pranab Kumar Panday

Abstract


It has been observed that gender inequality is relatively more pronounced in developing countries. Economic instability and all other social problems it engenders seem to further limit the prospects of women’s participation in all aspects of social life. Such is the challenge being faced in Bangladesh. Remnants of patriarchy make it difficult for women to participate in local governance. Outnumbered by men in public offices, they often suffer from an atmosphere of non-cooperation. Furthermore, social institutions continue to promote stereotyped roles of men and women, thus making women think of their roles as inferior. As a result, they do not muster enough self-esteem needed to fully assert themselves in the bureaucracy. The origin and ramifications of this problem can be seen in terms of how institutions and practices contribute to gender inequality. State initiatives to promote a level playing field for women are inadequate. The struggle for equal rights of women has still a long way to go and this could not be achieved without addressing the fundamental economic and political obstacles thereto in Bangladesh.