Weekly Insights and Analysis

[VIDEO] Bangladesh at a Crossroads: Equal Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs

May 19, 2010

Water, sanitation, traffic, and regular electricity and fuel shortages are severe problems facing Bangladesh’s citizens. By 2020, the country will have nearly 170 million people; half will be women. “For the sake of Bangladesh,” explains The Asia Foundation’s program officer in Dhaka, Suparna Hasan, in this video, “we need to bring women into the development process.” She says, although Bangladeshi women love to take on challenges and are very hard working, the society is still very male-dominated, making it difficult to gain the collateral usually needed to secure bank loans. Now, in the Northeastern Bangladesh city of Sylhet, a group of women entrepreneurs have joined together to advocate for better access to loans for women. Through their efforts, they have formed a network that has been successful in getting banks to change their policies and make more loans available to women. Now, more women are finding the means to grow their own businesses and boost employment in the region.

Related locations: Bangladesh


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In Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia's development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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