JICA Ogata Research Institute


Working Papers

No.154 Women Empowerment in Bangladesh: Household Decisions under Development of Non-Farm Sectors and Microfinance Institutions

We analyze the factors and dynamics that contributed to the empowerment of women in Bangladesh.

We first investigate the role of non-farm sector growth in facilitating female labor force participation and educational attainment, and then we explore how women’s decision-making roles in a household have improved over the same time period.

Our results indicate that the proportion of village non-farm labor force participation is positively associated with female school enrollment as well as other indicators of women empowerment. Moreover, microcredit participation is found to be associated with larger roles for females in making household decisions particularly on non-farm activities.

Keywords: non-farm labor force participation; Bangladesh; female schooling; marriage; fertility

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