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Women's Participation in Local Government: a tool for sustainable development of Bangladesh

Empowerment or participation of women in governing process through gender sensitive particular policies are prerequisite for achieving sustainable development in any developing country such as Bangladesh. Such issue has been recognized in the context of policy reforms in both governmental and local government domain. Notwithstanding Union Parishad (UP) is a unit of rural local government of Bangladesh has a history of 145 years but women’s appearance was ensured only 2 decades ago. A questionnaire survey which was conducted over 100 people and the finding is without women participation in grassroots level meaningful development is not possible and it is proved statistically that there is a significant relationship between strengthening local government and empowerment of women analyzed by One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) SPSS v.22. Though, there are tremendous gaps in balancing of gender both in terms of governance policy and reform agenda. At the grassroots level, Union Parishad is the most popular democratic institution. Therefore, the state of women’s participation at this level is vital and deserves special attention to empower them as participation and empowerment otherwise sustainable as well as participatory development cannot be ensured. Constitutional provisions of Bangladesh can be seen as milestone towards ensuring women’s equal access and increased participation in political power structure at Union Parishad level to strengthening the local government as well for the sustainable development of Bangladesh.

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