Openings and Resistances: Women in the Bangladesh Civil Service

Over the past decades, the women’s labour force participation (LFP) rate has risen from 26.1 per cent in 2002/2003 to 36 per cent in 2010. While employment is an important aspect of women’s empowerment and of national development, women’s active participation in decision-making is not only important for ensuring equality and justice for themselves as citizens but also so that the institutions in which they are employed become more responsive and capable of addressing the needs of women as well as those of men. This chapter, from the book titled Public Policy and Governance in Bangladesh: Forty Years of Experience, will identify and analyze factors that account for the successful advancement of women to senior positions in the Civil Service of Bangladesh (BCS) and the measures, e.g. quotas, that have been taken to ensure the increased recruitment of women. It also explores the reasons why women have not made as much progress as one would expect. The chapter will argue that although the overall representation of women in the Civil Service has increased, the presence of women at higher-level positions is still low, which is indicative of the existence of certain barriers to the advancement of women. It will use the concepts of diversity and representative bureaucracy to discuss the presence and role of women in the bureaucracy.

Authors: Sultan, Maheen; Jahan, Ferdous
Type: Book/Book Chapter
Year: 2016