EXPLORING THE DECISION-MAKING POWER OF BANGLADESHI WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE: RESULTS FROM A NATIONAL SURVEY

Russell Kabir, Sayeeda Rahman, Dioneia Motta Monte-Serrat, S.M. Yasir Arafat

Abstract


Empowerment is personal, multi-dimensional and latent phenomenon that is difficult to measure directly. Bangladesh is a developing country in South Asia and women population  of the country is almost equal to the male with the male dominant norms. It was aimed to look into the decision making authority and gender role of Bangladeshi women of reproductive age group. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2014 data was used for the study. A total of 17,863 women of reproductive age were included in this study. The mean age of the respondents was 31 years. About 23.5% respondents had no education and only 11.6% completed primary education. It was found that 68.5% respondents were working and about 73.6% respondents had no NGO (non-governmental organization) membership. Respondents from richest background were more likely to take their own decisions. Urban residence and with higher educational attainment were more likely to take their own decisions. Working status and membership to NGO are significantly associated with decision making power of women. The study revealed that women from urban area, with NGO membership and employed were more empowered. Poor attainment of primary education, low employment, and few NGO memberships are seemed to be the hindrance in women empowerment in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Women empowerment, Decision-making, Health seeking behavior, BDHS, Bangladesh.


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