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Situational Analysis of Gender and Governance in Bangladesh

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Presentation on theme: "Situational Analysis of Gender and Governance in Bangladesh"— Presentation transcript:

1 Situational Analysis of Gender and Governance in Bangladesh
Md.Reazul Haque Associate Professor Department of Development Studies University of Dhaka Dhaka-1000 Bangladesh

2 Defining Gender Biological determinism or biological essentialism
A narrow focus on biological difference Considers gender relations as immutable and fixed Tends to reinforce rather than challenge gender inequality

3 Defining Gender 2. Social construction of gender
Four dimensions of gender A property of individuals: gender identity as affiliated with social roles, structured by practices of culture, but also defined by the subject through his/ her action A property of institutions: gender regime or a set of norms and arrangements regulating relations state structures and organizations civil society ( family, school, trade unions, church)

4 Defining Gender A property of social structure: an enduring pattern of social relations that conditions the possibility and consequences women’s and men’s action A property of value systems: (religions, philosophies: for example male and female characteristics are valued and devalued differently)

5 Defining Gender 2. Social construction of gender
Is ascending in influence Opens opportunities for new forms of analysis of gender relations, including: i] micro level of social interaction ii] behavior of social institutions iii] macro processes of structural formation

6 Gender: What, How and Where?
Here I will apply Scott’s definition of gender as ‘the social organization of sexual difference’ in relation to gender mainstreaming as operating 1) On a symbolic level: where images of masculinity and femininity’ within organizational culture ‘impart meaning to phenomena which appear to be gender-neutral. 2) At the level of individual and collective identity of the institution, of specific programs, lectures, staffs: where meanings of sexual difference affect the self-image of wo/men and the normative concepts in interpreting the meanings of it; and 3) At the of social structures ‘the availability of resources, accessibility of social institutions and positions of power marked by gender norms and gender symbols’ (Scott 1999: 2; Sevenhuijsen 1998:81).

7 Meaning of Gender Gender as analytical framework helps us to denaturalize (look beyond the nature) men and women, masculinity and femininity; to see them as socially produced not given by birth, thus different through time and place. It helps us to analyze relations of power of dominance and marginalization, hegemony and subjugation, hierarchy oppression as productive of gender identities, ideologies and practices. It helps us to look at knowledge and experiences of being a women or men as social practice, linked to power.

8 Sex refers to biological differences between ♀♂
Gender refers to the socially determined personal and psychological characteristics associated with being ♀♂ namely masculinity and femininity. Notion of masculinity and femininity historically, socially and culturally constructed.

9 Gender and Constitution
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has mentioned equality among male and female at all sphere of life. Government of Bangladesh has taken various initiatives to ensure female development and to eradicate gender difference. Policies for female have been formulated from country’s highest document Constitution to lower administrative unit (UP). The 1972 Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has recognized and guaranteed equal rights to women and article 28(1) states “the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth” and article 28(2) “women shall have equal rights with men in all sphere of the state and public life” (Bangladesh Constitution 1998).

10 Development Edward W. Weidner “Development is a state of mind, a tendency a direction rather than a fixed goal, it is a rate of change in a particular direction” (Hossain 1994:4). Some administrators think that, there is no need of ♀ participation in development process because development is a technical issue and ♀ s are not expert on that (Interview 2008).

11 Theoretical Tool Nancy Fraser (1995) - Redistribution - Recognition
Three model First model of gender equality is based on sameness of ♀ and ♂. In this model policies often reflected in equal opportunities for both ♀ and ♂ especially in fields which are ♂ dominated. Second model is based on difference which would include affirmative action programs to value ♀’s contributions despite differences between the sexes. Third model is transformation. Transformation looks at both sameness and difference but at the same time looks at redefining gender relations through the setting of new standards for ♀♂ (Walby 2003: 6-7).

12 Theoretical Tool Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach
Life: According to Nussbaum’s capabilities, everyone should be able to live a life of normal length (Nussbaum 1995:83). Bodily health: “bodily health consisting of the ability to have good health to be adequately nourished and to have adequate shelter” (Alexander 2002:8). Bodily Integrity: Bodily integrity includes ‘‘being able to move freely from place to place’’ and ‘‘having opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction’’ (Nussbaum 2005:172). Senses, imagination and thought: “ability to use the senses, to imagine and think and reason and to exercise these functions in a truly human way” (Alexander 2002:8). Emotions :“ability to love, to grieve, to experience longing, gratitude and justified anger” (Alexander 2002:8).

13 Practical reason: According to Nussbaum, practical reason implies ‘‘form [ing] a conception of the good and engage [ing] in critical reflection about the planning of one’s life’’ (Nussbaum 2005: p-173). Affiliation: It is the “ability to participate actively in many forms of social and political relationship, to speak in public, to be recognized as dignified beings whose worth is equal to that of others” (Nussbaum 2005:173). Other species :“Other species is understood as the ability to live with concern for and in relation to animals, plants and the world of nature” (Alexander 2002: 8). Play: Play refers to the “ability to enjoy leisure, laughter, and recreational activities” (Alexander 2002: 8). Political and Material Control Over One’s Environment: Nussbaum’s tenth capability refers to woman’s ability to participate in politics, to seek employment and to enjoy a rewarding work life, and to control both land and movable assets (Alexander 2002: 8).

14 Gender Related Governance Issues and Problems in Bangladesh
Female Presence in the Legislature As of 2002, only 11 countries could achieve the benchmark determined by the 1995 Beijing Platform of Action demanding 30 percent of women representation in the parliament by adopting quotas (Ahmed 2005:521). Bangladesh has never had a ♀ President or ♀in other foremost/important positions such as finance minister. No ♀ member was appointed as a Speaker or Deputy Speaker. No ♀was appointed as a committee chairperson in the thirty-five Standing Committees of the national Parliament during Thus ♀ leaders in Bangladesh have had very limited access to the highest decision making bodies - ♀ participation in politics was widely discouraged and denied by the major political parties particularly religious based political parties such as Jamaat-e- Islam does not believe in gender equality and viewed ♀’s participation as anti Islamic (Ahmed 2005: )

15 Nature and Characteristics of Political Parties
weak and non influential decision making positions in the central executive committees of different political parties. major political parties have a preference to nominate those people who have huge black money as well as musclemen. political parties want to be sure about the candidate’s ability of winning in the election and that’s why their presence remain poor in the party politics (Interview 2008).

16 Local Government Structure and Female Participation
-In 1994, for the first time, 19 ♀ ward commissioners were elected to the reserved seats of the Dhaka City Corporation . -1997 Union Parishad direct elections for 12,723 word member seats reserved for ♀ (Ahmed 2005: ). -opportunity to play an effective role and subordinate position -subjected to sexual harassment by their ♂ counterparts -birth certificate and member of law and order maintain committee.

17 Bureaucratic Structure & Gender Politics in Bureaucracy
redistribution of economic resources closed doors of bureaucracy “Gender workshops with men in Bangladesh” What is there to learn on ♀’s issues? (Bhasin 1997: 56). - ♀ candidates they have to be married and need to submit their marriage certificate for Health Assistant post (Interview 2008).

18 Control of Executive Branch& Participation in Public Policy Making and ♀ Civil Servants
- “Feminist policy formation ” - “Feminist movement and policy work” - “State feminization” “The gender and welfare state” (Mazur 2002:13-15). A field survey (40 respondents) had been done and was asked to ♀ civil servants about their role in preparation of public policy and 55% replied that they were not involved with the preparation of public policy. 55 % respondents replied that, they were not involved in making long term development plan . 30 respondents replied that they did not contribute in maintaining liaison with the donor and agreement between GOB and Donor (Haque Unpublished Mphil Thesis, 2004)

19 Lack of Human Rights - Neo-liberal economists ignored role of unpaid care work done by ♀. (Bangladeshi ♀ work hrs a day which is unpaid =10000tk per month, 23rd July 2008 Janakantha.) - Symbolic violence (unwanted phone calls, comments from passer by (Interview 2008). Violence against ♀ According to the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), during the first six months of 2009, 1479 women were raped in Bangladesh. Women Rights Situation in Bangladesh, (Last viewed on 22nd March 2010). - Family Violence ( Bangladesh - 2nd position ) (15th July 2008 Janakantha) - The capabilities approach developed by M. Nussbaum lack of human rights, violence and threat to violence (physical, psychological) limits ♀ capabilities and has negative effect on holistic development.

20 Religious Fundamentalism (Fotwa)
Control of women’s behaviour is high on the fundamentalist agenda (Winter 2001). Attacks on NGOs- including the ♀’s credit programme of Grameen Bank, the educational programmes of BRAC as well as community based family planning activities ( Freeman 1998:64) . Fatwa (union namely “Kalikpur” located in the Madaripur district ,♀ are still prohibited from going to the pooling centres because of local fatwa’s declaring that it is not appropriate for ♀ to vote (Ahmed 2005:529). “Hillah” marriage( oral divorce).

21 Land Rights System for ♀ in Bangladesh
Unequal land rights of women “Good sisterhood”(Agarwal 1996:280). Vulnerability and asset ownership (Moser 1998:3).

22 Gender bias Government Budget
Fuel price ↑ purchase of commercial fuel ↓ use of animal dung and wood ↑ ♀ invisible price interms of workload ↑. Ministry of Women’s Affairs excluded from budget preparation. Ministers of Women’s affairs have a crucial role in increasing the understanding of why and how budget can be made gender responsive (Elson 1998:42) .

23 Micro Credit, A Tool of Empowerment but Who Controls the Loan?
♂ control over loans -The intense pressure of timely loan repayment on ♀ ♀ as a resource for ♂ use Increased labor burden.

24 Judiciary, Gender Justice and Governance
Rape case, divorce, property guardianship low ♀ participation in judiciary process ( serves ♂ interests)

25 Media and Gender - Advertisement “Raduni” spices, where mother is telling her son to bring a good cook [cum wife] for him. That means she is shaping role of wife who will cook for her husband and creating negative impact on society (Interview 2006).

26 Gender Reforms in Development
Women in Development (WID) Women and Development (WAD) Gender and Development (GAD) Gender and Global Governance (GGG)

27 Women in Development (WID)
Is informed by sex role theory and modernisation theory Explains that gender inequality of status is a result of the exclusion of ♀ from the public sphere Sees traditions as key barriers to the inclusion of ♀ into mainstream development Advocates that development cooperation should be targeted at ♀ as beneficiaries and at the removal of gender-based barriers to participation. Can be insensitive to issues of class, ethnicity, age

28 Women and Development (WAD)
Is informed by neo-Marxian approach to ‘development’ as recent social formation in the world system. Challenges the view that ♀ are excluded from development. Follows the world-system approach and suggests that some ♀ are included in specific ways to serve particular modes of global accumulation

29 Women and Development Areas of inquiry: informal sector, agribusiness, export –processing zones, tourism as export-oriented services, migration as trade in services. Emphasizes interaction between gender, class and ethnicity Key concern: impact of the debt crisis on ♀ of the working poor as unequal burden of adjustment. Sees the political agency of ♀ in the Third world as a catalyst for change (activism from outside).

30 Gender and Development (GAD)
Is informed by gender theory in anthropology and sociology Is concerned with culturally specific forms of gender inequality and social division. Shares with WAD the view on gender relations as power relations, on intersection between gender and other forms of social hierarchy. Resists privileging the ♀ perspective of the south

31 Gender and Development (GAD)
Develops sophisticated analysis of unequal burden through the gender division of labour in three forms: i] segregated labour market within a sector and across sectors ii] the household iii] voluntary community services Advocates equality as equal opportunity in the present plus equity as fairness or compensation for an unleveled field produced by history, equity leads to equality.

32 Gender and Global Governance (GGG)
Considering poverty with gender inequality and violation of ♀’s social rights. Engaging with development planning from the ‘inside’ to challenge gender bias through Feminist Development Economics (FDE). Addressing the omission of the sphere of care/nature in macro-economic planning world wide as: -a major form of global gender inequality -an outcome of ♂ -centered policy and theoretical discourses that naturalize care and nature as female duty

33 Gender and Global Governance (GGG)
Considering this omission as a key barrier to fairness in resource allocation causing an intensification of ♀’s work in the development process and gender differentiated impacts of structural adjustment policy. Working with emerging global gender equality regimes (CEDAW, Gender mainstreaming) Stressing significance of gender politics in the policy process and need to resolved local/ global tension

34 Progress of Gender Governance in Bangladesh
Major achievements at a glance Bangladesh has ratified the CEDAW Convention except Articles (2) and 16.1(c). Provide mother’s name as a guardian besides the father’s name in all documents. Pension Rule has been revised to make it ♀ -friendly Recruitment of the women in Police Force, Army, Air Force and Navy. Appointment of two women judges in the High Court Division of Supreme Court.

35 Made the provision of 4 months maternity leave instead of 3 months.
BRAC the largest NGO in the world with the help of noble laureate Amartya Sen has established Protichi Trust (Bangladesh), provides scholarship and encouraging those women who want take journalism as a profession. They have completed first batch training and participants have already been employed in the newspaper and electronic media (Interview 2006). The Daily News Paper Prothom Alo is trying to raise fund for acid victims and about its atrocity in the society. Setting up of special sensitive cases and speedy disposal of acid throwing cases. Speedy Trial Tribunal Act 2002 has been in operation which also tries the sensational cases of violence against ♀ with highest priority. Formulation of “National Plan of Action against the Sexual Abuse and exploitation of Children including Trafficking (SEACT) in the year 2002 with view to protect children from all sorts of sexual exploitation.

36 Intervention in the proposed poverty reduction strategy paper of the country from a gender perspective. Increasing the women’s seats in the national parliament to 45 from the immediate previous number of 30. ASK is working in eleven districts through training, gender justice, popular theatre and rape, fatwas, hilla marriage, marriage without registration, early marriage have been reduced and awareness among ♀ and ♂, organizational development, capacity building, ♀ participation in the “salish”, have been increased (Interview 2006). - Democracy Watch has established “gender and governance” training to make young people (both ♀ and ♂) more gender sensitive (Interview 2008).

37 Steps to development through gender mainstreaming ensured by good governance

38 Conclusion social justice→ redistribution →recognition →Social transformation →gender equity→ equal empowerment→ elimination of gender discrimination→violence against ♀→increased ♀ participation→gender mainstreaming→development→ good governance. Need more ♂inclusive strategies for change, and to put the ♂ in to humankind in gender and development.


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