International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 125-142

First online:

Women's Capabilities and the Right to Education in Bangladesh

  • Mary Arends-KuenningAffiliated withUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Sajeda AminAffiliated withPopulation Council

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The World Bank promotes women's education because it is an input into human capital. In the capabilities approach, education is a force that enables women to have expanded choices. Using data from in-depth interviews conducted in two villages in 1996 and 2000, we examine how rural Bangladeshis perceive women's education and to what extent those perceptions concur with the World Bank's instrumentalist view and with the capabilities approach. Parents educate their daughters because women's education is valued in the marriage market, and marriage is the best way to secure their daughters' well-being. Schooling has also enhanced women's capabilities by increasing their earning potential.

women's education marriage in developing countries capabilities human capital in developing countries