Parliament Quota for Women in Bangladesh Is Denounced as Tokenism

Women’s groups in Bangladesh are criticizing the government’s move to renew a constitutional law that gives women only a tenth of the seats in the 330-member national parliament. The 30 seats reserved for women are not elected by the public; rather, they are nominated and installed by the other 300 directly elected lawmakers. Women’s groups are urging the government to follow through on its promise to increase its gender quota and to allow direct election of women lawmakers. With such a policy, female MPs would no longer be seen as “ornaments,” as one MP says, but instead representatives who are treated as meaningful participants of the political process.


Inter Press Service, 11 July 2000

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