View from Dhaka: Women in the political process

Published on: January 3, 2019

The electoral field may now be getting more gender balanced, and that is a good sign for the future


Photo: BIGSTOCK
Photo: BIGSTOCK

It is good to see a total of 22 women poised to take their oaths as lawmakers in the 11th parliament -- the highest number of female lawmakers ever.

Women in the workforce are currently contributing to about 34% of our total GDP growth, which is no small matter considering that women make up about 29% of the total labour force.

There is no reason for parliamentary participation of women to lag behind, and this year we have seen better numbers than past years, although the number of women in parliament is still small relative to the number of men.

Historically, our political culture has always been tipped in favour of men, and money and political muscle have usually taken precedence over competence; as a result, women have not gotten a fair chance.

The electoral field may now be getting more gender balanced, and that is a good sign for the future.

This year, prominent faces include Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, JaPa leader Rowshan Ershad, and Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.

Less prominent politicians and newcomers face a tougher battle, and although there are quotas in place for women in politics, most parties tend to bypass any such rules by putting women in minor posts.

As Bangladesh moves forward, the country needs gender equality in all sectors, and with women making major contributions in every field conceivable, there is no reason their numbers should lag behind in the political process.

Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune