Bangladesh election: How real is women's influence in Bangladesh politics?

For decades, Bangladesh has been led by two women: the current Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her rival, Khaleda Zia. But has this led to female political empowerment?

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (photo: National Herald archives)
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (photo: National Herald archives)
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DW

For the past few decades, #Bangladesh has been led by two #women politicians: the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her rival Khaled Zia. But has this led to female political empowerment?

#Bangladesh is the only country where the prime minister, speaker, Opposition leader, and the heads of major political parties are all #women.

According to DW reports, some of these #women will face their opponents in the country's parliamentary elections on 7 January.

Ahead of the polls, it made many of us wonder if having #women occupy powerful political positions empower #women's participation in politics across the board in #Bangladesh.

According to the Global Gender Gap Reports, the country ranks 7th out of 155 nations in #women's political empowerment. Though that sounds promising, there's more to the story. According to reports, #women still lag behind in terms of overall active political participation.

For example, while the total number of #women MPs is one-fifth of the total house, just 7 per cent are elected directly. The rest are selected by party executive committees, where #women's representation is abysmal.

Reports say in local government, #Bangladesh's rural areas show greater gender diversity than its cities. And overall, there's a higher percentage of #women leaders in local government than in the national Parliament.

#Women activists in #Bangladesh are continuing to advocate for increased participation by #women in political decision-making at every level.

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