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Reserved Seats for Women in Rural Local Government: Achieving a Level Playing Field

  • Shajeda AktarEmail author
  • Janet McIntyre-Mills
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)

Abstract

The government of Bangladesh introduced direct election in the quota seats for women through the Local Government (Second Amendment) Act 1997. The empirical studies on the performances of the elected women representatives, however, show mix evidences of women representatives’ success and empowerment. Intuitively, the literature commonly scrutinised the role performances of the elected women representatives in the LGIs, but there is no study so far to investigate whether there were situations that beget self-selection in contesting (and more importantly, in self-exclusion from contesting) election. This paper discusses the issues women representatives faced in contesting election in the local government institutions in Bangladesh. Empirical evidence shows women members were to struggle in exercising agency and mobilising resources while making a decision to contest election, during election campaign as well as functioning in the LGIs once elected.

Keywords

Women empowerment Reserved seats Local government Direct election 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for helpful comments on the previous draft of this paper to Dr. Elizabeth Morrell, Mona Lena Krook, participants of the Midwest Political Science Conference (Chicago, USA) 2012; New Zealand Political Studies Association Conference (Canterbury University, Christchurch) 2013 and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science Seminar (Flinders University) 2013. The remaining errors are responsibility of the authors. Opinion, explanation and suggestions do not correspond to any organisations mentioned in the paper.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationRajshahi UniversityRajshahiBangladesh
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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