LIVE: Bangladesh’s “Impossible” Success Story

October 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm 1 comment

Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on Bangladesh’s amazing economic success story.  Not coincidentally, Bangladesh has also made impressive strides in empowering women. Tonight I attended an update at SAIS on “Economic Empowerment and Bangladesh’s Financial Future” from Bangladesh’s Minister of Finance, A.M.A. Muhith, and Atiur Rahman, the Governor of the Bangladesh (Central) Bank.  Among Bangladesh’s other supposedly “impossible” economic accomplishments, the Finance Minister proudly announced that 5,000 new women entrepreneurs had taken out loans in the last quarter to help build their businesses.

I asked him for a few more details on Bangladesh’s efforts to empower women.  He cited “total gender parity in primary and secondary education” and near-parity at the university level.  He also noted women’s political participation – 19% in the national parliament and significant representation in rural union councils.  Most notable was the astounding increase in the female proportion of the country’s labor force – from 7% in the mid-1980s to 38% today!

Not content to rest on Bangladesh’s laurels, the Foreign Minister identified inheritance laws as the next reform target to reach gender equity and continue to pursue Millenium Development Goal 3 (Eliminate gender disparity at all levels .

WSJ: Bangladesh, ‘Basket Case’ No More – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575519330896471058.html

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Don  |  October 25, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Very interesting but little know facts about development in this south asian country.

    Reply

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