Empowerment of Women (in Local Government)
for Local Government in the 1972 Constitution of Bangladesh, genuine
decentralisation, development and capacitation of local government
remains limited. The enabling and relatively progressive regulations
laid down in the Constitution and subsequent amendments are not
fully applied in practice. Over the last decade there has been much
interest in strengthening local government and the current Government
has pledged continuing support for decentralisation reform. As such
reforms are politically sensitive, progress is contested and consequently
slow. Some progress has been made in terms of the political empowerment
of women and elected women representatives are proving their value
in raising the concerns of women and poor. This programme seeks
to support elected women representatives and potential elected women
representatives to develop further, represent their constituencies
well and amplify women's voice so that women and poor can exercise
their rights to information and local services.
This programme contributes to this development goal by focusing
on women's political empowerment in particular on the role played
by elected women representatives (EWR). The intervention logic suggests
that building confidence, capacities and collective action among
EWR and providing them with networks of support, advice and information
will result in more attention being given to the concerns and issues
of women and girls, as well as the poor in general, in policy and
practice in public service delivery. It is premised on international
research which indicates a correlation between active women in the
political sphere and better development outcomes. It also addresses
the need for more representational style politics where EWR are
increasingly valued because they are responsive to community needs
and priorities, make demands of service providers on their behalf
and are accountable to their electorate for achievements in this
regard. This approach challenges the patronage style of politics
which currently prevails. EWR in this programme will be encouraged
to enhance their engagement with citizens and with service providers
to improve service delivery (software-processes) rather than concerning
themselves with the direct distribution of benefits (hardware-relief,
contracts, infrastructure etc).
is expected to be transformational in that it will focus on putting
knowledge into practice and changing attitudes, mind-set and practice.
SDC principle of working with existing organisations, the programme
will continue to support and expand the networks of women elected
members and other related networks which they have been instrumental
in establishing as well as seeking linkage with other often scattered
and isolated networks.
Rural and urban poor (especially women) in Bangladesh are getting
information and enhanced , responsive and prompt local services.
Elected Women representatives are accountable to their constituencies
and together with potential future EWR and former EWR32 are collectively
requiring gender and poverty sensitive practice in local service
(legal framework incl. ordinance & directives) , political commitment
and public opinion conducive for inclusion and participation of
EWR (and potential EWR) and for promoting gender sensitive service
provision at community level.
and advisory support for EWR valued, used and continuing.
Results Achieved till Today:
completion of phase-I Democracywatch along with other ANGOs has
started the APARAJITA phase-II. The aim of phase-II is to keep EWRs,
P-EWRs and NAV in track of political empowerment in order to allow
them participate in the upcoming local government election.
During the reporting
period(December 2015- May 2016), 77 candidates contested from APARAJITA
in Municipality election'15 for the position of councilor (reserve
seat) where 26 candidates including 15 (52%) EWRs and 11 (38.8%)
PEWRs elected. Only three (10%) of the elected women are outside
from APARAJITA. Three women candidates from APARAJITA contested
for Chairman position in UP Election 2016 and two of them have been
elected. Ten candidates from APARAJITA contested for the member
of general seat and two of them elected.
In UP election
of 2016, 1248 candidates from APARAJITA contested in reserved seat
and 340 persons have been elected which includes 44 (10.8%) EWRs,
295 (72.6%) PEWRs and 1 (0.2%) of them are from NAV. Only 66 (16.3%)
of the total elected women are outside APARAJITA intervention. Most
of the newly elected persons has not yet taken oath and they
did not get charge due to legal restriction.
A total of 13 news published in different Print and Electronic Media
regarding key stakeholders' proactively influencing gender-discriminatory
policies and laws.
officials, 23 civil society representatives, and 3 members of local
government association were present in the advocacy event at national
A total of 503
EWRs and PEWRs used Union Digital Center and 634 EWRs and PEWRs
used Gender Resource Center of local office.