08 March 2021, Bangladesh: The increased empowerment of rural women in Bangladesh over the past 10 years has been no accident.
A decade ago, not even one in four rural women could be said to be “empowered” across five key metrics, a figure that surprised even those working on the ground with the country’s poorest. By 2015, this had risen to more than two in five, or 41 per cent, with continued gains in recent years.
A key reason for this rise was a systematic effort to measure empowerment among rural women in real terms using measurements that were directly related to their daily lives, including farming and fishing.
The findings were a wake-up call that guided and motivated action towards a more targeted approach to improving women’s participation and decision-making in food systems.
The more policymakers and researchers know about the extent of gender inequality and its wider role in the health and prosperity of its population, the more governments, researchers and NGOs can take targeted and effective action that addresses global challenges at their roots.