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At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Unicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • Yes for the Single/Lower House?
  • Yes at the Sub-national level?

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • No adopted by political parties?

Is there additional information?

Yes

Bangladesh

(People's Republic of Bangladesh)

Single/Lower house

Jatiya Sangsad / Parliament

Total seats:350
Total women:69
% women: 20%
Election year:2008
Electoral system:FPTP
Quota type: Reserved seats
Election details: IDEA Voter Turnout
IPU Parline
Legal sourceDetails
Quota type:
Reserved seats
ConstitutionAccording to Article 65 (3A) of the Constitution, of the 350 seats in Parliament, 50 are reserved for women. These women members are indirectly elected by political parties, and the number of total reserved seats is distributed between parties based on the proportion of seats they have in the parliament.
Legal sanctions for non-compliance: N/A Not applicable
Rank order/placement rules: N/A Not applicable

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Last updated 2014-04-01

Quota at the Sub-National Level

Quota type:Reserved seats
Legal sourceDetails
Quota type:
Reserved seats
Constitution According to Article 9 of the Fundamental Principles of State Policy of the Constitution of Bangladesh, and through the Local Governmental (Union Parishad) Act of 1997, 3 directly-elected seats are reserved for women in the union parishads (1 from each of the 3 wards), the lowest level of councils in the sub-national administration.
Legal sanctions for non-compliance: N/A Not applicable
Rank order/placement rules: N/A Not applicable

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Last updated 2014-04-01

Additional information

In May 2004, a constitutional amendment was passed to reintroduce quotas for women in parliament (Article 65). The number of seats in parliament was raised from 330 to 345, of which 45 seats (13 per cent) were reserved for women. The seats are allocated to parties in proportion to their overall share of the vote. This quota system replaces the previous quota law which expired in 2001.

Until 2001 a system of reserved seats for women was used, reserving 30 seats out of 330 for women (chosen by indirect election by the 300 directly elected members of Parliament). This quota system was first introduced by the 1972 Constitution (originally providing for 15 reserved seats for women, out of 315 seats, for a period of 10 years).

In 1978 a presidential proclamation enlarged the number of reserved seats to 30 and extended the period of reservation to 15 years from the date of promulgation of the 1972 Constitution. The constitutional provision lapsed in 1987 but was re-incorporated in the Constitution by an amendment in 1990 to be effective for 10 years from the first meeting of the legislature next elected. This provision expired in 2001. The Parliament elected in October 2001 did not have reserved seats for women. The reserved seats according to the 2004 amendment were filled in September and October 2005, being allocated to political parties in proportion to their share of the national vote received in the 2001 election.

According to Representation of the People (Amendment) Order Act 2009, ‘any political party desiring to be registered with the Commission shall have the following specific provisions in its constitution, namely: (ii) to fix the goal of reserving at least 33 per cent of all committee positions for women including the central committee and successively achieving this goal by the year 2020’. (Chapter VIA, 90B [b]).

Article 9 of the Fundamental Principles of State Policy of the Constitution of Bangladesh stipulates the representation of women in local government institutions. Bangladesh’s urban local government has two tiers: purshavas (municipal bodies) with the provision of a quota for at least three women members to be elected by commissioners of the purshava; and city corporations (Rai 2005). Rural local councils exist in three tiers: 61 zila (district) parishads, 469 upazila (subdistrict) parishads, and 4484 union and village parishads. Under a 1996 law, at least 25 per cent of seats were reserved for women in union parishads through direct election. The first election under the new provision was held in 1997, in which a total of 13 000 women candidates were elected to fill the reserved seats for women (Rai 2005).

Last updated 2014-03-20

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