Women Empowerment in Bangladesh
Subject: Political Science | Topics:


Bangladesh is a developing country half of the total population is women whose socio-economic condition is very low. Struggle for modernity, tradition, men-women equality, social dignity, security and for multilateral pressure the position of women in the family is very complex. Here men and women do not participate in social development is not equal. Many indoor and out door activities of women are not treated as work. The devaluation of women labour in labour market also hinders women right. But in market economy women of Bangladesh are always facing new challenges. Though women work in educational institution, medical, factories, police, even in the uneven areas, women are neglected, tortured and persecuted. In the society of gender disparity it is difficult for women to stay parallel and enjoy the right of equal participant. All these should be discussed here.


Half of the total population is women. No socio-economic, political and cultural development is possible without the empowerment of women. So, identifying the hindrance of women empowerment in my research work to take steps to solve the problems is the main purpose of my research work.

Objectives of the study.

i.       To understand the importance about the role of women in the development of the society

ii.      What are the obstacles and the causes of obstacles

iii.     To know about the hindrance women face in the field of work.

iv      To know social attitude towards women independence

  Scope of Term paper

The dignity of women, the role of women in the field of socio-economic and political development and many other problems of women are discussed.

 Research Methodology

Secondary data method is applied here.


Empowerment of women: Empowerment of women is such a process which controlling women rights, challenges gender disparity in parental and social institutions.

 Socio economic Condition: The socio-economic condition refers to the social dignity, educational qualifications, family marriage system, mother, social value, occupation salary, wealth etc.

Review of Literature

It is not possible to know whether any work was done before regarding this. But besides journals, papers, I have taken help from the books such as women empowerment Politics by Salina Hosain and Masuduzzaman.


Since Empowerment of women in Bangladesh is a very important matter, it is very difficult to prepare such an research work. In spite of many limitations the research work has been prepared. The limitations some –

(i)     It is difficult to mediate over the matter for want of time because such an important work requires a lot of time.

(ii)     Data is collected from secondary level, not from primary level.

(iii)             Besides, insufficiency of computer, lab, e-mail also extents problem to collect proper data.

The socio-economic Condition of Women

 Social Dignity

          Most of the women in Bangladesh believe in erotic social value and superstition. In this condition women are always dependent on men. From the early childhood female child is neglected. The birth of male child is welcome on the other hand that of female child is considered as a curse. When the female child is growing up, she realize that she is born to serve the female, she is a curse for the society or family and the social environment enhances her idea and for this men use social superstition, religious sentiment, ignorance’s and weakness and helplessness of women.

          Women have to lead lower life in the male dominated society. Another cause of it is that mantis the wage earners, so in social attitude the role of women is not considered important as men’s. In the case of lower social dignity of women. Borhan Uddin Zahangir and Zarina Rahman have mentioned two features. One is parental and another is social inequality. The first origin the familial sector and the 2nd one is the sub ordinate rich sector. And mutuality between these two sectors have made the women homesick.

          There is another cause behind the less dignity of women in Bangladesh age. marriage system, relationship and mother. The right of women in the case of marriage is negative. The father becomes the decision maker and mother’s decision is always neglected. The registry, demand of bride, witness etc are compulsory. If the marriage is not registered, it is illegal. Since there are double rules in the society, the women can’t take action when they are divorced. The agreement in marriage in Islam is equal but in practical, It is not equal. The men have the right to divorce, keep four wives at a time. Here women are not safe they are inferior to men.

The Economic condition of women

          The main aspect of women empowerment is the equal rights of women in the working field. From the ancient period women were engaged in household chores preparing field sowing seeds, weddings harvesting and many other activities. The picture of invisible contribution of women was shown in the moderate National income in 1993. According to this statistics, the production which is produced and used in house is it worth of 16 trillion dollar. Of them 10% – 35% production is produced in houses by women which does not need to pay. In 1990 it is stated in a statistics if the activities of women in the family are counted and added to the national income, the total income of the world increases form 20% to 30%. But these activities of women are not granted. Here the annual and daily activities of rural women granted by UNICEF in 1991 and Department Female affair in 1994 are shown below.

Years of Rural Women in Bangladesh

Month Activities 
Baishakh (Apr 15-May 14) Bringing    soil    form    pond,    cultivating vegetables watering, weeding, making of mango pickle.
Jaistha (15 May – 14 June) Making mango pickles, cultivation of curry 
Ashair (June 15 -July 14) Fishing,   knitting,   produce   fish,   knitting katha and clothes, rope of jute etc.
Shrabon (1 5 July- August 1 4) Harvesting, cleaning, boiling rice, basking drying   straw   for  cows   and  piling   and making cold earth& other reproductive work
Vadro (August 15-Sep.l4) Cleaning wet place and mushroom of after flood, preparing hearth and box for paddy, products from jute.
Assin (Sep.l6-Oct. 15) and Kartik (Sep. 14-Dec.l4)Going    to    father’s    house, cultivating vegetables and pulse.
Agrohayon           (Nov. 15-Dec.14)Husking, collecting rice making fried rice 
Poush (Dec. 15- 14 January) Cakes of new rice and chira and muri 
Magh (15 January- 14 Feb.) Dat juice, gur making and making cakes
Falgun (Feb.l5-March 14)Decoration of houses, making floor high and ariping, cultivating vegetables, uproot mastered etc.
Chaitra (March 15-14 Apr.) Cleaning   houses   and   repairing, sowingVegetables making fans of plum tree.
At dawn

Getting up, washing hands and face, pray, feeding domestic animals, drawing goats out, sweeping yards, washing paltes and jars feeding husband and children, having breakfast, fetching water, cleaning. diving palace giving grass to cows. making, collecting feales.
Month Activities 
Morning/ MiddayBoiling rice, hasking, dusting spices, brushing rice, cooking, feeding husband and  children eating, washing plate, jar etc.
Afternoon/ EveningKnitting kantha and nets gringing domestic animals, and feeding the and setting in hte cow-room making food and bringing ducks and hens.
NightMaking bed, lying children, eating cleaning kitchen, closing door, going to bed.

 The labour of women is considered as a strong weapon to alleviate poverty in the whole world. At present a major part of total population is women who work outside the homes. According to the report by BBS (1995-96) the number of workingwomen is 21 million is 38.1% of the total labour. Now women labours are working in medical sciences, teacher, nurse, health, family planning, including, garments factory, tea factory, mine, manufacturing Intention Labour. Organization works form 1951 to present time:

  •  Equal Wage Convention 1951
  • Discriminatory Service convention 1959
  • Social rules Convention 1962
  • Investment rule Convention 1964
  • Education leave Convention along with wage 1948

Human Society Development convention was taken such steps. Women are lagging behind in the field of govt. and non-govt. administrate duties. In our country appointment of women judge was unlawful and eradicating that problem women judge was appointed after 1975 and at present out of 60 judges two judge is woman in the Supreme court of Bangladesh.

In BCS (Gen.) woman was appointed first in 1989 and in administration in 2000. And women polic super was appointed few years ago. Women have been recently appointed in Armed medical core. Even women lag behind in BCS.

Besides less wage want of service and security disparity of working hours, leave, etc. one the obstacles in the ways of women. Though the garments factories are fault on the basis on women labour it is found that 20% women work 12 hours daily on 30% women work 13 hours daily. Besides women workers suffer from insecurity of commission and way to garments, weekly leaves etc.

Wages discrimination

It can be easily said that the disparity between men and women workers is severe. Women get less wages for gender discrimination, social attitude and value in comparison of man. Women complete the incomplete products produced by man. But this work is considered as productive labour in the man dominated society. The tendency of the average wage of the women workers is given in the table below.

Table-1 Average wage of agriculture labour (1974-2000)

Year Average wage ratioPercentage 

 Area of professional working women

          In the field of profession it is mentionable that the participation of women in the important sectors is few. Even there is no women in some sectors. On the other hand the number of women in the work which has no value, is satisfactory. It is found that in the Adam sumari of 1981, 75% women are engaged in household choruses. The position of men and women according to profession is shown below.

 Persons related to work (thousand)
1 .   Professions related to technical works14691129240
2.    Related to medical,  dental  & animal treatment24922721
3.    Statistics and mathematicians11
4.    Economists12111
5.    Administrators and other officials29421816
6.    In transportation218218
7. Related to household activities846223623
8. Writers & Reporters12111

 It is worth mentioning that the number of male workers is greater than female one’s on all spheres with some exceptions like household activities where 626,000 female workers out of 846000 lake part. Its main cause is that remuneration in household activities in less and these places have not yet been identified as work places.

 Property and Women

          The causes of poor condition of women are the traditional heritance system and ownership of properties. In Muslim society a female child gets less share of her father’s property than a male child and in absence of the husband, the wife gets less them her children. This inheritance system recognized by the religion degrades the women in male dominated society.

          Besides, the persons who hold more properties, have more power to take decision is any matter. In rural society the land lords hold the power society and only they take any decision. In Bangladesh the land and its management belong to the male, not to the female, which makes the men inheritors, Power is such a stuff which is always exercised on the weak. In a family the husband exercises his power on the wife and the children which is the main theme of the male dominated society.

Educational Status

          Education is one of the basic elements of man to develop personality, sense of responsibility, sustaining rights, civic sense and specially national progress. But in the field of education women of Bangladesh lag behind men. In the field of national educational the percentage of women education is rather frustrating, Compared to man. It is true that all the development programs in Bangladesh included women on priority basis and still they are being given priority but they are found half of the male in education even after liberation period. This disparity starts in the primary level and it increases in higher education. The admission ratio in different seven Universities was 77.20:22.80 including male and female students in 1999. In different program primary education was declared compulsory and in order to less the difference between male and female, female education was given more importance.

          Despite this, it was seen in 1995 that of the total students, 63% were male and 37% were female. It is note worthy that at present 95% students who are eligible to go to schools are admitted in primary schools and on completion of primary education 38% drop out of it. Here is a data of drop out in primary level in percent.



















Torture on Women in Bangladesh

          Men want to keep the women obedient to them by inflicting both mental and physical torture on them. For this reason the women have been confined in four walls. In our country their labour receive no wages and they can not decide on any matter Because of extreme father domination and religious superstitions, Bengali women of this sub continent are tortured in different ways. This tradition have been going on for thousands of years. In modern times the vastness and varieties of tortures on women are so great that it should be termed as “Crime against women” instead of calling it “Torture on women” or ” attack on women”.

          Despite hard to harder laws or harsh warnings women of this country fall a victim to harassment and torture.

          Physical torture, rape, ‘fotoabazi’, acid throwing and different types of sexual harassment and blackmailing have always kept the Bangla women worried and shrunk.

          The vastness of tortures on women is far greater in rural areas then in towards and in root level women than in educated women. Many incidents do not come into light for the threat of political leaders or for the fear of family prestige. Although there are strict laws and warnings form this law makers of the government and there is no lack of good well to prevent tortures on women, day by day tortures on women have been increasing.

          According to a data from the Police Head Quarter the incidents of torture on women were 5843. Up to 2001, in five years totally 45,443 tortures on women took place among which there were 14128 rape case, 649 acid throwing, 1293 seriously injured and 29036 casualties. It can be asserted that there are many instances of tortures on women which have not be included in the police diary.

          Religious fanaticism and misinterpretation of religion have been used in this subcontinent for a long time to continue the women folk in four walls by the advisers (fotoabaz) of religion. These incidents being to much horrible, on 1 January, 2001 high court Division of the Supreme Court declared all types of fotoas illegal. Besides rape and fotoabazi, the women folk of this country are victim of various types of tortures like acid throwing and dowry, the criminals are finding out new ways and means and applying them in reality.

          Suicide for being raped, fotoabazi and new device of tortures or women and black mailing have briefly been discussed here. It may be mentioned that these writings were published in “The Jonokantha” a for lingt magazine. Because of financial insolvency women feel insecured. Patriarchal social system do not encourage women empowerment . The suffering women bear all types of torture because of having no power.

 Women of Bangladesh:

          Women of our country could not advance as a result of supers tition and blindness to religion deeply rooted in the society. Women were kept at home building the shadowy wall in every sphere of life. Having same quality women are still lagging behind. Although the Queen rules over the king in reality, women have been made completely dependent on men. They have been only taught how to cook, wash dishes and do all the household chores. Religion has been used as a weapon to wash their brain. It is said that a will can deserve heaven under the feet of men. They will have to digest every thing inspite of all the illegal works done by husbands.

          Some people have deviated from religion and explain religion from then own point of view. They push the women into inhuman suffering. Women are to bear the inhuman torture because of their narrow out took. Inspite of being 50% of the total population, only 7% – 8% can enjoy liberty, equity and justice in the male dominated society. There is no disparity between east and west in respect of women torture. In this respect all men are equal to torture the women.

Rights of women

          In the constitution of the people’s republic of Bangladesh some fundamental rights for women are :

          Article 10. : Steps shall be taken to ensure participation of women in all spheres of national life.

          Article 28(2) : women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the state & of public life.

          Article 28(4): Nothing in this article  shall prevent the state from making special provision  in favour of women children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens.

          In a recent study it is found that 12% enjoy human rights fully, 8% enjoy minimum human rights, 7.8% can enjoy equal rights in human activities and 7.6% can enjoy open freedom.

          What steps to be taken to ensure their human right :

  • To take law full steps
  • To expand Education
  • To raise consciousness
  • To achieve economic solvency
  • To get equal phase in their father’s property.

          From this study it is noticed that all women opine to take the shelter of law, correct the law, raise consciousness of their rights and responsibilities, provide more opportunities, continue campaign, ensure equal share of property, express rights of freedom, avoid fundamentalists and so on.

Women and law of Bangladesh:

          Some laws have been introduced to protect the women rights, injustice made to then and those are still in action. Those are dowry opposing act 1980 (Reach field in 1982). In this law punishment has been imposed directly or indirectly for receiving and giving dowry. Under this law one year jail may be offered on Tk. 5000 fine or both applicable.

          For killing inhumanly death or life long joint is offered. Women and Children Oppression curbing act 2000 makes the base of protecting women rights. Under this law hijacking raping, killing after this law hijacking raping, killing after raping, raping by turn, in case of raping by police law has been make for offering death centaur. Under this law sexual harassment is a punishable offence

Acid crime act:

          In this act, rowing of acid is considered to be on offense of being incapable of bail and non-compromising. Incase of death by acid throwing, the convicted person will be offered death sentence of life long jail with one lakh money as compensation. People have expressed different views for and against this law. An organization was formed to raise protest against all orts of disparity against women.

Women and Children oppression act 1995

          In application of this law, time of investigation and judgement is determined. In case on belong of judgement and prolonging the verdict, investigating officer will be bitable for reflecting duties and responsibilities. As a result this act may lessen the prolonging settlement of the case.

          According to women and children oppression act 1995 and 2000 the matter related to increase the duration of investigation of the verdict is under the judgement of direct tribunal. So the matter of increasing time is under the trial. In this case there is a great possibility to dissolve the process of trail very soon.

          If the criminal is earning member, the compensation rule can be applicable: The traditional tendency to harass the oppose of litigation is the additional tendency of our society. Sometimes false litigation is file as a result of the feature created by guardian or the ruling class people.

          Under this act Judiciary facilities are provided in a confined resume. In that case no person will remain present there except the concerned persons. If necessary the judge can conduct the judgement either in the court or outside the court. Under this act the victims are being greatly benefited.

          According to women and children curbing act 2000 in case of attempt to death or rape by poisonous or burning elements or in both cases, it will be considered to be serious offense.

 Analysis of Data, Information and Findings

Women of Bangladesh and politics:

          As human resource, stock reserve labour forces if women remain away’ from total development and political process, desired development is never possible. So, women are half of the total population^ they Should be involved in all state affairs to enhance the socio-economic development of the country. Women are the victims of disparity by any means relating education, health, employment opportunity, lawful right, humanistic treatment, citizenship right and so on. Poverty is one of the most important reasons for the women oppression. Recently United Nations Organization in a study women participation, in democratic process and empowerment, equality have been encouraged for fundamental issues.

          Women representative rights is undeniable. Secondly poor presence or the women in political arena is identified for their backwardness. Actually if their participation is not proper, they are deprived of legal rights.

          We describe in detail desks wards as what we Gird in proceeding to analysis the total situation of the research work.

Table-2 Participation of women in National Election (MP)

 Year of Election Percentage of Women Candidate 















Drg : bvixi ÿgZvqb : ivRbxwZ I Av‡›`vjb, †mwjbv †nv‡mb I gv`y`y¾vgvb – c„: 20

Table-3 The numbers and percentage of women ministers at different times in




Number of total Ministers Number of total home minister Percentage 


























Source: Cabinet Division, Govt. of Bangladesh.

 Women and Administration

          Among the administrative cadres, BCS admin stands top considering aristocracy. They are the propelling power of stately affairs. Very few women affaires are at this cadre presently. Since 1998, no women was in secretary level in the serve centre of power – Secretariat. Recently women are getting promotion in different state organizations including ministry of women and child affairs. Important national organization, namely UGC, Election commission is devoid of women. There are only two women ambassador. There are two women justice in Supreme court High Division.

Table-4: The  participation   and   percentage  of  women  at   higher administration in Bangladesh.

DescriptionMale Female TotalPercentage




2 7

Additional Secretarial 





Join Secretary 





Deputy Secretary 





Senior Assistant Secretary 





Assistant Secretary 










Source: Establish Ministry 2000

  Steps in women empowerment :

Bangladesh government  is taking different kinds of steps to empower the women. Such as, quota system, Including women in local government by ratio system, scholarship system in education for women. In parliament 45 reserved seats are for women members, in primary sector 60% women are recruited as teacher.

In garment sector many women are working and being solvent. By micro-credit system many women are bringing economical solvency in their family. BRDB besides Grameen Bank, Proshika, Asha etc, non-government organizations are playing role in the development of women from rural area. In this way these institutions helps in women empowerment in Bangladesh.

Research findings

We describe in detail downwards on what we find in proceeding to analysis the total situation of the research work.

(1)     Women representation is very limited in different level of government specially in ministries.

(2)     Regularly women in mass representative organizations is scarcely as candidates.

(3)     Women does not exercise the power of decision making in every sphere of politics and bureaucracy.

(4)     Different wage rate for women.

(5)     we keep a great role in garments sector  as wager

(6)     They are playing important roles in education

(7)     Their participation in politics are increasing

(8)     The women are being solvent  by the opportunity of micro credit.


1 .       Women should participate more and more in politic to establish their rights in politics.

2.       The working field of women should be extended to increase the economic power of women.

3.       Social  attitude  towards  men  and women should be changed. Through social movement. Along with political parties women organization’s should come forward along for this

4.       The govt. should be cordial and active to implement the effective steps in the rules and regulation committee.

5.       Women should be appointed in the higher administration with post of cabinet secretary and in the ministry and department.

6.       To eradicate the disparity of men- women wage reformation in wage distribution is necessary.

7.       Women workers can’t protest against the injustice of the higher authority for lack of the help of law.

8.       Political and lawful rights of women should be included in the education syllabus.

9.       All the  international  agreements   against  women   persecution including extinction of all discriminatory activities against women should be implemented fully or to take steps to implement.

10.     Reserve seat for women should be maintained for UP level to all sectors.

11.     They should not be nominated for reserve seat, rather should be elected directly.

12.     We should behave with the female child equally in the house and outside the house and the positive aspect of female child should be shown.

Women Empowerment in Bangladesh

Related Political Science Paper:

Popular Political Science Paper:

Women Empowerment in Bangladesh

  Introduction Bangladesh is a developing country half of the total population is women whose socio-economic condition is very low. Struggle for modernity, tradition, men-women equality, social dignity, security and for multilateral pressure the position of women in the family is very complex. H.....

Assignment on Political Parties of Bangladesh

Introduction: State in the final analysis is a unique setup of diversified institutions, and political parties stand central to them. Political party is a significant and vital institution like any other institutions of the country. Without the party system, the state has no elasticity or true se.....

Hartal Bangladesh

Operational Definition of Key Concepts The history of Bangladesh as a nation state began in 1971. In the past time politics was used for the welfare of country. In those day’s there was no quarrel among the politicians for money and power but as today most of the politicians are interest is gro.....

Corruption in Bangladesh

Introduction: Corruption means committing crime and mischief to the country. It causes great harm to the countrymen. None escape from the harm of corruption. It is a social malady. It spreads its greedy clutches all over the country; each and every government sector of the country is affected by .....

Industrial Relations in Bangladesh

INTRODUCTION : The relationship between employer and employee or trade unions is called Industrial Relation (IR). Harmonious relationship is necessary for both employers and employees to safeguard the interests of both parties of the production. In order to maintain good relationship with the emp.....