Women’s Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh: A case study of the Gono Kendra project

Start date: 1 March, 2016 End date: 14 April, 2016 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A29489 Countries: Bangladesh Institutions: Roskilde University (RUC), Denmark Grant recipient: Raminta Sakinyte Total grant: 29,000 DKK



This thesis aimed at investigating the Gono Kendra project and its impact on women’s Empowerment in rural Bangladesh. I have used empirical ethnographic data which was collected using qualitative research methods: interviews and observations. My analytical foundation consisted of Kabeer’s definition of empowerment and Bourdieu’s theory of capitals, also his concepts of habitus, doxa and fields.
I have investigated the process of women’s empowerment which entailed several steps. First, using the notion of doxa, I explained the main challenges for women’s empowerment to happen. Second, the theory of capital allowed me to identify various resources as precondition for empowerment and the ways the resources were accumulated. Third, I came to a conclusion that the process of overcoming the challenges, was the process of accumulating recourses (various forms of capital), and simultaneously it was the process of gaining more power.
The Gono Kendra project facilitated women’s empowerment by providing access to various forms of capital and by offering alternative ways of being and doing.