Working Papers, Department of Economics, Lund University
Mahabub Hossain, Manik Lal Bose and Alia Ahmad
Nature and impact of women's participation in economic activities in rural Bangladesh: insights from household surveys
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: ender division of labour; empowerment; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J16; J22; (follow links to similar papers)
25 pages, September 14, 2004
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