Sohela Nazneen

The Women’s Movement in Bangladesh

The study traces the history of women’s movements in Bangladesh and discusses its achievements amidst the rapidly changing economic and political context in the country and globally.


Since its independence, Bangladesh has made significant gains in empowering women. The country has formulated and implemented policies and programmes that improve the condition of women and girls. Maternal mortality and fertility rates have gone down, making Bangladesh attain gender parity in enrolment.

The women’s movement in Bangladesh played a critical role in bringing about these changes. However, the movement has also faced many different challenges given the rapidly changing economic and political contexts at the national and global levels. 

For socially just and gender equal responses to these challenges, solidarity and coalitions among the various school of thoughts in Bangladesh are essential. Hence, the study is an attempt to trace the history of women’s movements in Bangladesh and to discuss its achievements and internal and external challenges for a sustainable movement. The author weaves in broader historical changes and discusses the nature of the current political context. 

This study is part of a series published under Political Feminism in Asia, a regional project coordinated by the FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia. 



Nazneen, Sohela

The women's movement in Bangladesh

a short history and current debates
Dhaka, 2017

Download publication (800 KB, PDF-File)

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