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Men's Perceptions of Women's Participation in Development Initiatives in Rural Bangladesh.

  • Karim, Rabiul1, 2
  • Lindberg, Lene2
  • Wamala, Sarah3, 4
  • Emmelin, Maria5
  • 1 1 Department of Social Work, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. , (Bangladesh)
  • 2 2 Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm County's Health Care District, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 3 3 Health Systems & Leadership Development, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 4 4 Swedish National Institute of Public Health, Östersund, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 5 5 Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. , (Sweden)
Published Article
American journal of men's health
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2017
DOI: 10.1177/1557988317735394
PMID: 29025358


Without taking masculine issues into account, women's participation in development initiatives does not always guarantee their empowerment, health, and welfare in a male-dominated society. This study aimed to explore men's perceptions of women's participation in development (WPD) in rural Bangladesh. In adopting a qualitative approach, the study examined 48 purposively selected married and unmarried men aged 20-76 years in three northwest villages. Data collection was accomplished through four focus group discussions (FGDs) with 43 men clustered into four groups and through individual interviews with five other men. A qualitative content analysis of the data revealed an overall theme of "feeling challenged by fears and hopes," indicating variations in men's views on women's participation in development initiatives as represented by three main categories: (a) fearing the loss of male authority, (b) recognizing women's roles in enhancing family welfare, and (c) valuing women's independence. In the context of dominant patriarchal traditions in Bangladesh, these findings provide new insight into dynamics and variations of men's views, suggesting a need to better engage men during different stages of women-focused development initiatives.

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