2.1 Terms of reference
In this report I hope to explore the impact gender inequality in Bangladesh has on the development, particularly social and political development, and then give some recommendations as to how the problem can be solved. 2.2 Explanation of title
Bangladesh is a hugely patriarchal society, and gender discrimination against women has been and still is a huge issue. Despite recent efforts to eliminate gender inequality, religious and cultural influences still play a huge role in preventing women from being able to participate in society in the same way men are permitted to. This has been a hindrance to development, particularly in the areas of social and political development, because without women’s full potential being recognised, they are unable to aid in the development process. However, one could argue that there are also many other factors which could affect development going on in Bangladesh, and this report will examine the extent to which gender inequality hinders social and political development in Bangladesh. Once this is done, hopefully it will then be possible to find a solution to the issue hindering development in Bangladesh. 2.0 Collection of evidence
3.3 Sources used
In collecting evidence, I found websites such as wiki gender and the Gender Index useful for researching the discrimination that Bangladeshi women face. The GEI (gender equity index) was also very useful as it allowed me to compare the gender inequality in Bangladesh to the gender inequality in countries elsewhere. I also used a lot of websites from the UN for researching social and political development so I could see how these have been impacted. 3.4 Methods
I managed to collect evidence and do research by using the internet, and looking at websites such as the UN website and wikigender. I also found search engines such as Google useful for looking up statistics and evidence. 3.0 Inequality faced by women
Bangladesh is a patriarchal society, and women are hugely disadvantaged. They face inequalities in every area of their life, and their opportunities are very limited, particularly when compared with the opportunities of men from the same backgrounds. This is caused by religious and cultural factors, and the stereotypical convention that the only use for women is to stay at home and care for the children and husband. 4.5 Family code
One of the biggest examples of gender inequality in Bangladesh is the discrimination against women in the context of family and home life. Girls get little say in who they marry and when, as this is often arranged by her family members, as is common with the Muslim culture. This means that girls are often getting married off very young, in order to decrease the economic burden on the household. Although this is common in many countries, Bangladesh has the highest rate of early marriage in Asia, and ranks among the highest in the world. A 2004 United Nations report predicted that 48%, nearly half, of all girls in Bangladesh aged between 15 and 19 are either married, widowed or divorced. With girls getting married so early, it means they are no longer getting an education and going to school because they are instead having to run a household and stay at home to look after the children. However, the situation for women does seem to be getting better for women, as increased use of contraceptives means women are able to control their fertility, and will only have children if they know they can cope with them. In Bangladesh the parental rights are linked closely with religion. According to Islamic Sharia law, women are ‘custodians’ of their children and not legal guardians, instead regarding fathers as the natural, legal guardian. If a woman is divorced she can therefore only retain custody of sons until they turn seven, and daughters until they hit puberty. In...