SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS, Vol 16, No 1 (2016)

PROBLEMS OF PARTICIPATION OF THE WOMEN LEADERS IN THE UNION PARISHAD IN BANGLADESH: UNHEARD VOICES AND GRIM REALITIES

Md. Mizanur Rahman




Abstract


This paper discusses obstacles of participation of the women
leaders (WLs) in the grassroots based local government in Bangladesh,
i.e. Union Parishad (UP). Local government of Bangladesh has a history
of 145 years but women’s representation is ensured just only 2 decades
ago. Within 2 decades time span, WLs fails to ensure their effective
participation due to some built-in problems of the UP. Against such a
context, the paper is aimed at unraveling the research question: What are the problems WLs facing in ensuring their participation? The paper is
based on phenomenological approach which was supported by case study, content analysis and observation methods. The findings of the paper reveal that women leaders identified 3 major challenges towards playing their role and participation in the UP such as i) patriarchy or male domination, ii) corruption and iii) faulty legal provision imposed upon them. Solution might be changing the legal and structural arrangements in the UP. Prerogatives for women’s education should be expanded in the society to promote pluralistic and participatory mechanisms so that women can take part in the sphere of local governance and such efforts should help modify patriarchal values system and other social ills around it.

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