Sunday, May 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

More women, please

National progress is not limited to economic indicators

Update : 10 Mar 2024, 12:37 PM

For a nation that has seen two very powerful women lead the way for much of its history, it is incredibly disappointing to know that Bangladesh’s political landscape is still overwhelmingly dominated by men.

According to a recent Dhaka Tribune report, the mandated quota of 33% female representation in all political party committees has yet to be met -- a goal that was originally slated to be met by the year 2020. Other than the two major political parties in our nation, left-wing political parties have fallen woefully short of meeting the prescribed targets.

The barriers, surprising no one, are entirely systemic in nature, with women being all but discouraged when it comes to participating in politics. Such an attitude perfectly lines up with the patriarchal nature of our society, where women, in any given arena, are seen as being lesser compared to their male counterparts.

While it is indeed true that Bangladesh has come far when it comes to women’s participation in the formal economy, our overall efforts towards empowering our women is still woefully lacking when it comes to social indicators. By keeping women away from the political arena, our society, either implicitly or explicitly, creates a feedback loop which further keeps women from becoming elevated -- when women are actively involved in the political sphere, policies are far more likely to help the overall cause of women’s empowerment.

This year’s general elections witnessed women comprise less than 5% of the total number of candidates, which is truly disheartening considering that women represent half of the nation.
Bangladesh is on the cusp of attaining developing status, but national progress is not limited to economic indicators, indeed there is an argument to be made that it places a far bigger premium on societal indicators.

If we wish to see a Bangladesh that is truly developed, we need more women in our political arena starting now.
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