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Abstract

The article aims to analyse the impact of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on Bangladeshi rural women’s mobility in the public domain, since this is an area that is generally only frequented by men whilst women are confined to their own home and neighbourhood. In other words, the author explored how and to what extent, NGOs have brought changes to women’s freedom of movement in the public sphere. The author was influenced by the existing literature that portrays Bangladesh as a country that is characterized by poverty, patriarchy and inequality, where there is no tradition of rural women participating in the labour force, and where women’s mobility is severely restricted. In this study, the indicators of women’s mobility were explored that include women’s movement in various public places such as market, medical centre, children’s schools, and cinema. By conducting series of in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), the author collected primary data from rural women and their husbands through purposive network sampling. Secondary data was collected from the contemporary literature regarding women’s freedom of movement globally in general and Bangladesh in particular. By analysing empirical data, the article confirms that rural women’s participation in microfinance program of NGOs have enhanced their mobility in different ways. However, the women who had education and training had more mobility in public life since those women utilized the benefits of NGO programs more effectively. Surprisingly husband’s education, occupation and exposure have no positive impact on women’s mobility.

Note on the Author

Dr. Nawaz is an Associate Professor Department of Public Administration, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh faraha.nawaz@gmail.com

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