Change comes slowly for women in rural Bangladesh

Publication Date: January 1997

Publisher: East-West Center

Author(s): Deborah Balk

Research Area: Population and demographics; Social conditions

Type: Brief

Coverage: Bangladesh


Results from a 1982-89 survey conducted by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, provide a unique opportunity to explore the changing status of women in rural Bangladesh. Status was measured in terms of physical mobility and authority in household decision making. Results indicate the importance of regional and village-level characteristics in determining women's status. Another finding is that the characteristics associated with women's freedom of movement are not necessarily the same as the characteristics that enhance a woman's decision-making authority within the household. With such complex forces at work, a change in women's status may not lead right away to demographic change.