A roundtable discussion
Constitutionally, both men and women enjoy equal voting rights and are equally eligible to contest for the 300 general seats in parliament. A stark gender disparity, however, r emains in terms of the number of members elected through universal adult franchise.
To create a more level playing field, reserved seats for women were introduced in 1973 - they now stand at 50, in addition to the general seats.
However, the reserved seat MPs are not accountable to any constituencies, and they do not have a direct role in policy-making and legislative processes.
According to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 2009, all political parties must have 33 percent of women’s participation in all committees by 2020, including the executive committees.
Ahead of the 11th parliamentary polls, Democracy International and Dhaka Tribune convened a round table discussion, funded by USAID and UKaid, at the Dhaka Tribune’s auditorium on Monday, June 4. This program was organized under "Narir Joye Shobar Joy" (When Women Win We All Win) Campaign under the Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL) project jointly funded by USAID and UKAID and implemented by Democracy International.
Titled “Advancing Women’s Leadership in the National Election”, the roundtable discussion brought together multi-level stakeholders, including women politicians, social activists and lawyers, engaging them in a three-hour long discussion to map the way forward for the advancement of women’s leadership in the national elections.