Political Empowerment of Women Phase III


By focusing on women’s political empowerment, the project contributes to enhancing women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making, which leads towards a more inclusive society. With a more equitable governance system at the local level, citizens can hold institutions accountable and voice their needs and interests.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bangladesh
Governance
Human rights
Democratic participation and civil society
Decentralisation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
15.04.2018 - 14.01.2023
CHF 6'747'460
Background Despite the existing policies and legal provisions, and the country being headed by women for the last 24 years, women have not yet gained significant representation in national and particularly in sub-national political institutions, nor influence in decision making of the political parties. This is mostly due to the patriarchal social structures reinforced by religious, economic and political norms, which associate leadership with men, discourage women from entering the political arena and view political positions for women rather as a privilege than a right. The rise of religious extremism may contribute to further discouraging women from engaging politically.
Objectives Aparajita contributes to equal participation, representation and leadership of women within local government institutions.
Target groups The primary target group will remain aspirants, candidates and elected women representatives at the Union and Upazila level. Specific attention will be paid to women who have currently no access to decision-making power from politically, socially and economically marginalized sections of the society in the respective locality. The secondary target group will be local elites, men, councilors, political party’s local wings and sub-national and central governments.
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Potential and elected women representatives effectively participate in local government institutions and local governance processes in the selected districts.
  2. Elites, men and local institutions support effective inclusion of women in local political life in the selected districts.
  3. Improved policy and legal framework and attention to hindering and enabling factors at national level accelerate political empowerment of women.
Results

Expected results:  

  • 4 ToT on 2 modules were developed and conducted for field level staff. Potential women leaders were trained to enhance their capacity on facilitation skills. The ToT pool had been used to conduct the orientation and training of local level UP new councils and the women leaders.
  • 7,266 persons of 519 newly elected bodies of UPs were trained on functions of UP, roles and responsibilities, which has enabled them to perform their roles effectively.
  • 2-day training was designed and conducted on developing leadership capacity for newly elected women leaders. Because of the training, the new elected women leaders are able to understand and act according to their responsibilities as per the LGI Acts.
  • The project conducted 224 meetings of Nari Unnyan Forums, 1,038 planning and service-monitoring meetings with local government, which enabled them to ensure better services.
  • elected women representatives and potentials are taking leadership role in different forums and networks to influence decisions in favor of women, poor and disadvantaged.
  • 2 national advocacy seminars and 56 local level seminars on Zila Parishad Election took place.
  • elected women representatives and Potential’s are accessing regular information as per their needs to strengthen capacity. 


Results from previous phases:  

  • Leadership quality of the candidates and elected women representatives was enhanced.
  • During the project period, two local government elections took place under the political banner. Participation of women in local elections increased: in 2015, municipality elections 278 women Aparajita leaders contested and among them, 93 won. Of them, two won as Mayors and 91 won as members for women Reserved Seats in 44 municipalities.
  • Through the project more women could be mobilized to contest at the local level: in 2016 UP election, 4,277 women Aparajita leaders contested (14 for Chairman, 42 for general seats and 4,221 for women reserved seats). Out of 4,277 contestants, 1,197 women leaders won in the election, among them 3 Chairman, 4 general members and 1,190 as members of reserved seats. Winning chairmanship by women is an encouraging trend as these positions are traditionally dominated by men.
  • More and effective engagement of elected women representatives, potential in  local government (especially in the Education, Health, and Local Arbitration) which resulted in efficient service delivery and proper targeting of poor and marginalized.
  • A total of 927 women leaders (elected women representatives and  potential) are involved directly in different party politics which was very low before the project intervention.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Foreign private sector South/East


Other partners
Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MOWCA), NILG, other women development networks
Coordination with other projects and actors Other SDC projects: Sharique, EALG, TIB, ASK, LOGIN
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   6'747'460 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   3'950'000
Project phases Phase 3 15.04.2018 - 14.01.2023   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.12.2015 - 31.10.2017   (Completed) Phase 1 01.11.2010 - 30.11.2015   (Completed)