Our political process needs to not only increase the representation of women in parliament, but allow women to participate on an equal footing
In spite of great strides made towards gender equality in numerous sectors in recent years, it remains a fact that our political culture is still tipped in favour of men, where money and political muscle often take precedence over competence, resulting in women not being given the level playing field they deserve.
It is good to see, though, that while the number of women picked by the ruling party this year is lower than in previous years, overall, the electoral field is starting to become more gender balanced than ever before.
Our political process needs to not only increase the representation of women in parliament, but allow women to participate on an equal footing.
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While 50 seats reserved in parliament for women is a good place to start, steps need to be taken to make sure that more women are allowed to contest the polls.
It does not bode well for any nation when underqualified male candidates can successfully secure seats through lobbying while dedicated and hardworking female candidates are left by the wayside due to sexist and retrograde mindsets that still exist in our political culture.
And though there are quotas in place for women in politics, most parties tend to bypass any such rules by putting women in minor posts.
A progressing Bangladesh requires a progressive political landscape, and with women making major contributions and taking leadership positions in every field, from the arts to business, leveling the field for women in politics should be our goal right now.