Struggling for Survival and Autonomy: Impact of NGO-ization on Women's Organizations in Bangladesh


Sohela Nazneen and Maheen Sultan analyze the impact of the NGO-ization process on the structure, autonomy and accountability relations of different types of women's organizations in Bangladesh. They argue that the impact of NGO-ization varies depending on the resources, level of operation and the organizational motives behind adopting the NGO model. The impacts on smaller women's organizations operating at the local level are an expansion of structure, loss of autonomy and a prioritization of accountability towards donors. However, some national-level women's organizations have been able to manage the process through strategically mobilizing resources and prioritizing own agendas, thus retaining their feminist character. At a wider level, the NGO-ization process has led to a blurring of the boundaries between the gender and development agenda and feminist discourses. This blurring of boundaries created opportunities for raising women's rights issues at different levels, but led perhaps to a generational shift in how younger women engage with gender equity issues.


Development (2009) 52 (2) 193-199 [doi: 10.1057/dev.2009.18]

Struggling for Survival and Autonomy: Impact of NGO-ization on Women’s Organizations in Bangladesh

Published 1 January 2009