University of Oulu

From inequality to diversity : perceptions of bangladeshi grassroot level feminists on gender in education

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Author: Morshed, Onnesha1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Pages: 72
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : O. Morshed, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Hiitola, Johanna
Menard, Laura
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Hiitola, Johanna


This research aims to understand the prevalent gender norms in the education system of Bangladesh through the perceptions of grassroot level feminists and therefore, seeks answers to two questions: a) How do grassroot level feminists perceive the causes for gender inequality in the education system of Bangladesh? b) How can the Bangladeshi feminist critique help to reformulate the norms of education in Bangladesh to better take into consideration diverse gender experiences? Following a theoretical framework of postmodern feminism, postcolonial feminism and decolonial theory, the study illuminates the notions of gender inequalities in education of Bangladesh.

The study used a qualitative approach to understand the views and experiences of the participants who were the grassroot level feminists from Bangladesh. In depth interviews with the participants worked as the main source of data and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The study found that the grassroot level feminists in Bangladesh perceive patriarchy as one of the reasons behind gender inequality in the education system of Bangladesh. Other reasons include religion, social values and family pressure, economic condition, outdated structure and curricula from the colonial period. However, these reasons are intertwined with each other making gender inequality a complex phenomenon. The research also suggested that government initiatives in terms of curriculum reformation, budgeting and enforcing strict laws are crucial to make the education system more diverse and along with that exposure to outside knowledge is also necessary.

This research can be used by the policy makers to reform the education system in Bangladesh through a feminist and decolonial lens and this can be a way forward to other research concerning gender and education in Bangladesh. Moreover, this research has tried to incorporate authors from Bangladesh and South Asia (or in general from Global South) mostly so that the western and colonial perceptions can be avoided.

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Copyright information: © Onnesha Morshed, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.