Women's political empowerment at national and local levels through quotas : a case study of Pakistan and Bangladesh

  • Samir Ali Sheikh

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The introduction of gender quotas has been increasingly viewed as an important policy measure for promoting women’s access to decision-making bodies and power structures at national and local levels around the globe, especially after the Beijing Platform for Action 1995. This thesis examines the introduction and implementation of political quotas for women in Pakistan and Bangladesh where women have been subjected to various forms of socio-economic and political discrimination. This thesis traces the processes leading to the introduction of political quotas, examines the roles of various governmental and non-governmental actors towards the adoption and implementation of quota policies, and finally evaluates the intensity of women’s empowerment in both countries as a result of quota measures. Academic work on gender quotas and women’s empowerment in Pakistan and Bangladesh has been scattered both in time and focus of concern. The thesis assembles this disparate research to provide a holistic account and analysis of the introduction, implementation and impact of gender quotas in politics in Pakistan and Bangladesh. This facilitates understanding of the overall processes associated with gender mainstreaming through quotas located in the social, cultural economical and political contexts of both countries. This research looks at women’s political empowerment through quotas at both national and local levels in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Comparison is made between Pakistan and Bangladesh to identify similarities and differences in their experiences with political gender quotas. The research assists in identifying key factors that explain how a policy works or does not; how it can be interpreted; and how it can be enacted and implemented in different ways by different actors. By adopting a historical institutionalist perspective, the countries’ adoption of gender quotas is given a temporal dimension, an essential requirement for understanding the present situation and how it has been reached.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMark Turner (Supervisor) & Anni Dugdale (Supervisor)

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