Effect of Gendered Norms on Women’s Labor Force Participation in Northern Rural Bangladesh

Labor force participation for women is considered as an imperative sign for achieving gender equity. Like men women’s participation in the labor force can play an important role in the economic growth of a developing country like Bangladesh. However, due to socio cultural factors and slow growth in the rates of overall women’s labor force participation, possibilities for women to get employed and promoted in the labor force remain uneven. Using qualitative research guideline, this paper is an attempt to explore the effect of gendered norms on women’s labor force participation in northern rural Bangladesh. Total thirty six participants including one key informant were interviewed separately. Findings revealed that husbands’ conservative attitude towards their wives, sex preference in education, women’s limited movement, violence perpetrated by husbands and employer, gender stereotyped roles of women hindered women’s active labor force participation. Intervention addressing men’s attitude towards women’s work and economic performances are required.