Going to School in Purdah: Female Schooling, Mobility Norms and Madrasas in Bangladesh

27 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012

See all articles by M. Niaz Asadullah

M. Niaz Asadullah

University of Reading - Department of Economics; University of Malaya

Zaki Wahhaj

University of Kent - Department of Economics; University of Namur; University of Kent - School of Economics

Abstract

This paper looks at the determinants of secondary school attendance in Bangladesh with a focus on the interaction between community gender norms and relative supply of madrasas (i.e. Islamic schools). We present a theoretical framework where the probability of children's school participation varies with respect to a non‐economic factor – how the community observes social norms regarding female mobility – conditional upon the types of available schools. Household data from the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS) is combined with community information on the availability of non‐religious secondary schools and madrasas to test our theoretical predictions. We find that in communities which are more 'progressive', in the sense that women have a relatively high level of mobility, the effect of non‐religious school availability on attendance does not vary by gender. However in the more 'conservative communities', female schooling is more sensitive to the availability of, or distance to, madrasas.

Keywords: burka, school availability, gender norms, female education, madrasa, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: D04, I21, O15

Suggested Citation

Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz and Wahhaj, Zaki, Going to School in Purdah: Female Schooling, Mobility Norms and Madrasas in Bangladesh. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7059, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189797

Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (Contact Author)

University of Reading - Department of Economics ( email )

Reading, RG6 6AA
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.reading.ac.uk/economics/about/staff/m-asadullah.asp

University of Malaya ( email )

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
Malaysia

Zaki Wahhaj

University of Kent - Department of Economics ( email )

Keynes College
Kent, CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

University of Namur ( email )

8 Rempart de la Vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

University of Kent - School of Economics ( email )

CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

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