Can Women Travel to The Policy-Making Level in Bangladesh? Rural Women’s Political Representation, Participation and Empowerment in the Context of Microfinance

Faraha Nawaz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper aims to analyse the critical evaluation of microfinance in women's political affairs; more specifically, it explores to what extent and how microfinance has contributed to any measurable changes in women being more involved at Local Government level. While the available literature substantiates that microfinance does have some impact, either positive or negative, on women's socio-economic empowerment at the household level, there has been limited research undertaken with regards to its impact on women's political empowerment. While the current study revealed that microfinance did not bring any significant changes to the involvement of women as candidates in local politics, it did reveal, however, that 10% of respondents reported their political participation was directly affected by their involvement in the microfinance programme. The women reported an increase in their knowledge about voting rights and a greater understanding of Local Government. The paper reveals that in many cases microfinance works as a powerful tool for enhancing women's political knowledge, in certain circumstances, their engagement in local politics. The findings outlined in this paper could make a significant contribution to the theory and practice of women's political empowerment, which could arguably be considered the highest level of empowerment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)633-648
    Number of pages16
    JournalPertanika journal of social science & humanities
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

    Keywords

    • Engagement in local politics
    • Local politics
    • Political awareness
    • Women's empowerment

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