A MECHANISM FOR ENHANCING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
--- Md. Al-Amin
1.1 Background of the Study
The development of rural Bangladesh has figured prominent in the development plans and programmes of the 1970s. It is well known that majority of the people of Bangladesh live mainly in rural area under mass poverty. Poverty reduction has therefore become an important aspect of rural development (Islam.1992). As women in Bangladesh compose half of the total population, it certainly demands a remarkable involvement of women in the process of development process to alleviate poverty. There have been many institutional involvements taken so far in this context. Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) is a pioneering organization in bringing the issue of involving women in the development process since the 1960s. Since the late 1970s, BARD has been experimenting with a new idea on rural development under the name of a project, initially known as Total Village Development Programme (TVDP), later renamed as Comprehensive Village Development Programme (CVDP) (Chowdhury, 1990). This is the programme under which women are encouraged to participate and reap benefit for their socio-economic development. Where as a board term participation means influence on development decision, not simply involvement in the activities (Bhathnagar, 1992).
It is important to involve women in the development activities for greater interest of the society. It is observed that women always remain as object rather than the subject of development project. However, the CVDP does not isolate men from women and children from their parents. It tries to bring each and every family of the village under the umbrella of a single organization. Within the framework of that organization participation is planned for men, women and children as different age and sex group, and landless, marginal, medium, small and large farmers of the village as property group and also the non farm families (Ahmed, 1993). In this perspective this is an initiative to appraise the impact of the Comprehensive Village Development Programme on women development with special reference to village Dighalgaon.
2. Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is to explore the impact of Comprehensive Village Development Programme (CVDP) on women development. The specific objectives of the study are:
I. To find out the impact of CVDP on changes in socio-economic status of rural women;
II. To analyze the impact of CVDP on changes in decision-making power of rural women at household level;
III. To analyze the impact of CVDP on changes in mobility of rural women.
1.3 Scope of the Study
The study considers different variables including occupational pattern of women, women’s literacy rate, primary school enrollment rate of female compared to male, involvement of women in NGOs, participation of women in income generating activities, annual income of women and dowry system in the society that indicates the socio-economic status of women. The study also considers involvement of women in decision making process at household level including enrolment of children to school, their marriage, adoption of family planning methods, number of children, expenditure, making appointment with doctor, involvement with NGOs or cooperatives, visit to fathers or relatives house, vaccination of the children etc. Moreover, the study covers different mobility issues of women like visiting market for shopping or selling, visiting heath center, outside the village, cooperative societies or NGOs, bank etc.
1.4 Methods of the Study
This is basically a case study on Village Dighalgaon under Comilla Sadar Upazilla. The village Dighalgaon was selected purposively as sample. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data were collected through questionnaire...