Record number of Women aspirants in Bangladesh elections
The women’s participation in politics in Bangladesh has always been very low and not many of them hold any elected office in Bangladesh. Although two of the top contenders to lead the country are women politicians. Women are not welcomed enthusiastically in political and electoral processes in Bangladesh. But this year's general election have seen many women candidates trying their luck in the hustings.
This time 50 woman candidates are contesting in 52 seats. In the 2001 polls, 38 women contested from 48 constituencies.
Both the Awami League (AL) and BNP have nominated a few of these females whose husbands became ineligible for being convicted in different corruption and criminal cases.
Of the 50 female candidates, 16 are leaders of the AL, 14 of the BNP, two of Jatiya Party (JP), four of Gono Forum, three of Bikalpadhara Bangladesh and one each of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, JP-Manju, Krishak Sramik Janata League, National Awami Party, National People's Party and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal.
Besides, seven women are fighting as independent candidates.
Dipu Moni, AL's women affairs secretary and daughter of language movement veteran Mohammad Abdul Wadud, has thrown a challenge in Chandpur-3 to strong BNP candidate GM Fazlul Haque who won the last two parliamentary polls from here.
Former student leader Shirin Sultana is contesting as the BNP candidate in Dhaka-9 against influential AL leader Saber Hossain Chowdhury. Saber won the 1996 election in the constituency while Shirin is in an electoral race for the first time.
Also in her first time fight in parliamentary poll is legendary actress Sara Begum Kobori. She has already come into discussion by creating a good image in her constituency, Narayganj-4, where BNP has nominated industrialist Shah Alam.
Rangamati voters will see a fight between well-educated Dr Alo Rani Aich of Bikalpadhara and Moitree Chakma of BNP.
Besides Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Joint Secretary General Selima Rahman, the BNP has nominated Sabina Yasmin in Natore-2, Rumana Mahmud in Sirajganj-2, Majeda Ahsan in Comilla-4, Hasina Ahmed in Cox's Bazar-1, Elen Bhutto in Jhalakathi-2, Shahida Akhter Rita in Jamalpur-1, Afroza Khan Rita in Manikganj-2, Shama Obayed Islam in Faridpur-2 and Helen Zerin Khan in Madaripur-2.