This study, which focuses exclusively on Oxfam RE-CALL beneficiaries, looks into the influencing factors that affect women’s asset selection choices. Through focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and key informant interviews, the views and experiences of both women and men in the south-east coastal region were explored. The study found that although the situation has improved for women in recent years, there are still high religious, social and educational barriers to them becoming economically active, and it is these barriers that prevent them from selecting assets for themselves. Although NGO field staff are often encouraging, women’s self-perceptions of their own abilities to run a business, especially in their local context, are often difficult to overcome.
It is hoped that this paper will contribute to the discussion on gender and poverty reduction in Bangladesh among representatives from the Government, civil society, donor communities, and national and international and NGOs. Through focusing this discussion on the conditions and aspirations of extreme poor women, we hope to find more innovative ways of empowering women through asset transfer.
Faulkner, S. Assessing women’s choice in asset empowerment strategies in south west coastal region of Bangladesh. Shiree Working Paper No. 16. Shiree, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2014) 30 pp.