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PARADOXES OF PARTICIPATION OF THE WOMEN LEADERS IN THE UNION PARISHAD IN BANGLADESH: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

Mizanur Rahman

Journal of Community Positive Practices, 2019, issue 2, 58-73

Abstract: This paper discusses obstacles of participation of the women leaders (WLs) in the grassroots based local government in Bangladesh, i.e. Union Parishad (UP). Since its inception (1870) till date (2019), local government of Bangladesh has a history of 149 years, but women's representation has been ensured since only 2 decades ago. After enacting reservation quota for women leaders in the sphere of Union Parishad (UP) in 1997, women leaders had to struggle hard to ensure their participation in the UP affairs. Within the span of 2 decades, WLs fails to ensure their effective participation because of some built-in problems of the UP. Against such a context, the paper is aimed at unraveling the research questions: What are the problems WLs are facing in ensuring their participation? The paper is based on phenomenological approach which was supported by case study, content analysis and observation methods. The findings of the paper revealed that women leaders (WLs) identified 3 major challenges towards playing their active role and participation in the UP such as i) patriarchy or male domination, ii) corruption and iii) faulty legal provision imposed upon them. All these problems are problems of local government in particular and Bangladesh society in general. Solution might be changing the legal and structural arrangements in the UP. Improving overall governance couple with reducing malpractices and corruptions can promote having women's rights and privileges better in the UP. More affirmative action such as education facilities should be expanded in the society to enhance women's participation and to modify value system as traditional values help perpetuate patriarchy and other social ills.

Keywords: participation; women leaders; local government of Bangladesh; Union Parishad (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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