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Abstract

Assesses the status of women in Bangladesh by analysing the dynamics of female participation in labour force and education as well as gender earnings differentials at the macro level. The study finds evidence of growing commercialisation of women’s work in Bangladesh. Although the bulk of the female labour force is engaged in self-employment activities in the rural area or in low-skilled textile and readymade garment industries in the urban area, women’s participation in high-skill and entrepreneurial jobs as well as various decision-making bodies is also on the rise. While the gender wage differentials have been considerably reduced in many industries, in general women tend to be paid less than men. There have been remarkable improvements in women’s educational attainments compared to men. Further, female access to education is found to be highly correlated with overall female labour force participation, and relative to male participation. The overall results are suggestive of an improvement in the status of women in Bangladesh.

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