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Nature and impact of women's participation in economic activities in rural Bangladesh: insights from household surveys

  • Hossain, Mahabub

    (International Rice Research Institute (IRRI))

  • Bose, Manik Lal

    (International Rice Research Institute (IRRI))

  • Ahmad, Alia

    (Department of Economics, Lund University)

Registered author(s):

    Based on household-level data collected in 1987 and 2000 this paper first depicts the patterns and trends in women´s work and secondly, analyses the factors that work behind gender division of labour in rural Bangladesh. An empowerment index is developed from the data on household decision-making in different spheres, and its relationship with women´s work is then explored. The persistent gender division of labour in rural Bangladesh has been found to be associated with both economic factors - wage rates, access to production factors like land, micro credit, infrastructure) and socio-cultural factors - norms and customs regarding women´s mobility and gender role in production and reproduction. Economic activities within the household have been found to have weak impact on empowerment. Two policy implications emerge from the study: 1. Promotion of female education to enable women to take part in market activities in the non-agricultural sector where gender disparity in earnings is less. 2. Investment in infrastructure that can facilitate women´s mobility outside the household as well as can reduce the burden of domestic work.

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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/Papers/WP04_20.pdf
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    Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2004:20.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Sep 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2004_020
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
    Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
    Fax: +46 +46 2224613
    Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en

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    1. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1979. "Labor Supply Functions in a Poor Agrarian Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 73-83, March.
    2. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, March.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1978. "Rural Wages, Labor Supply, and Land Reform: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 847-61, December.
    4. Jordans, E. H. & Zwarteveen, M. Z., 1997. "A well of one's own: gender analysis of an irrigation program in Bangladesh," IWMI Books, Reports H020806, International Water Management Institute.
    5. Jordans, Eva H. & Zwarteveen, Margreet Z., 1997. "A well of one's own: gender analysis of an irrigation program in Bangladesh," IWMI Books, International Water Management Institute, number 113611.
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