ABSTRACT

Globally, with only a few exceptions, rural women’s situation was worse than rural men and urban women
and men for almost every MDG indicator for which data were available. Subsequently, the study was
conducted to explore the actual dimension of rural empowerment among CIRDAP member countries. The
study explored that there were sufficient data was available only for 63 SDG indicators. Malaysia showed the
highest value of 0.802 and Afghanistan had the lowest value of 0.498. Without gender and rural-urban
disaggregating, we may say that Malaysia has fared better in most of the indicators. Situation of Afghanistan
is lowest among the member countries. Women of the CIRDAP member countries had low economic
participation. It is to be noted that data were not available for all countries and the data for some countries
were old reinforcing the earlier statement on difficulties related to availability of data. Women generally tend
to go for part-time, informal and vulnerable jobs, when they have larger share of domestic and care work.
The time spent on domestic work as ratio of men’s time was highest among women in Pakistan and lowest in
Bangladesh. In all cases women bear major share of domestic and care work. Almost all CIRDAP member
countries, women’s share in agricultural land holdings was much lower than that of men. Among the
countries only Thailand had more than 25% (27.4%) land belonging to women. In Fiji, it was lowest, only
3.4%. Women’s share in 8 countries out of 12 (of whom data was available) was below 10%. In addition,
due to difficulties in accessing education or economic opportunities or owing to poverty, parents tend to put
their daughters into marriage at an early age. So, rural women’s QOLs need to be managed from different
fronts and start from an early age to ensure support for all ages.
Key words: Quality, rural women, CIRDAP, member countries.
Introduction
An urgent need of the crop sector of Bangladesh Agriculture is to produce more food to feed the country’s
Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies and outlines the negative and
positive characteristics of life. This includes everything from physical health, family, education,
employment, wealth, security to freedom, religious beliefs and the environment. QOL has a wide range of
contexts including international development, healthcare, politics and employment (Andrew, 2002). In the
context of International Development, it has to be related to access to basic needs, the standard of living,
social protection, time use and also opportunities to grow and live as a human being with dignity and rights.
When it comes to women, again the question of equality of treatment, practice, opportunity, status, time use
and freedom become critical. The contexts and practices are different in different continents and regions of
the world. The role of women and gender relations are defined by their social context, therefore, the
definition of QOL of women would also vary. The World leaders in 2015 agreed to a global pathway for

QOL for the citizens of the globe. The SDGs underline ensuring quality of life and prosperity for all-
women, men, disabled, children, old, indigenous, transgender, and all others. As the SDGs emphasize

universality, therefore access of all people irrespective of their background to basic services and
opportunities becomes imperative. While discussing QOL of women, the issues on human development and
gender equality become critical. Equally critical are discussions of their economic and political
participation, freedom of mobility, protection from violence and equality of rights. However, in the case of
rural women, some advancement was observed but gaps still existed. Globally, with only a few exceptions,
rural women’s situation was worse than rural men and urban women and men for almost every MDG
indicator for which data were available. Subsequently, the study was conducted to explore the actual
dimension of rural empowerment among CIRDAP member countries.