Nature and impact of women's participation in economic activities in rural Bangladesh: insights from household surveys
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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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
- 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.
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