Gender, activism, and democratic politics in Bangladesh

Authored by: Elora Shehabuddin

Routledge Handbook of Gender in South Asia

Print publication date:  November  2021
Online publication date:  November  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367479657
eBook ISBN: 9781003043102
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the gendered nature of democratic politics in Bangladesh, specifically the discourses and structures that affect women’s participation both as contenders for office and as voters. Although two women have dominated national politics in Bangladesh for over two decades and despite reserved seats for women in parliament, women politicians remain a minority and have not been active proponents of women’s rights. Women activists across classes and within and outside formal women’s groups have been active in keeping women’s, workers’, and human rights at the forefront of public and political discourse. In the long run, these efforts may well lead to ever-more insistent demands on the part of better-informed voters for changes targeting women’s political, social, and economic needs.

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