Bangladesh has made remarkable strides towards gender equality in a relatively short period by reducing maternal mortality, expanding roles for women in politics, and considerably closing the gender gap in school enrollment at the primary and secondary levels. Access to education and employment has broadened women’s spheres of influence beyond domestic spaces and challenged longstanding gender norms. Women’s empowerment has, however, emerged as a major fault line in the increasingly polarized relationship between secular and religious social forces. This brief explores the highly contested intersection of religion and gender in Bangladesh.
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