Study Says Bangladeshi Women Inhibited From Accessing Information

13 July 2016

Women in Bangladesh do not seek government information as often as men, according to community leaders and experts interviewed for a study conducted by Manusher Jonno Foundation and the Carter Center’s Global Access to Information Program.

The report, “Women and the Right of Access to Information in Bangladesh,” is based primarily on interviews 128 community leaders, 81 expert opinion interviews, and officials at 49 agencies. Male and female representation in the first two categories was roughly equal.

Sixty present of community leaders and almost 70 percent of experts said women do not access information as easily or as frequently as do men, according to the report. Agency officials disagreed.

The main inhibiting factors were illiteracy, a lack of awareness about how to ask for information and nonsupportive or antagonistic family members, according to community leaders. Those interviewed believed strongly said that women are interested in government information and that information about education is the most relevant. About one-third of women were not aware of their access to information rights, according to those surveyed.

With the exception of one district’s civil servants, all community leaders, experts, and public officials perceived a difference in women’s access to information based on age.

The Carter Center and partners have previously conducting studies on gender and RTI in Guatemala (Spanish version) and Liberia.

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