Influences of New Media in Transformation of Citizenship of Marginalised Women in Bangladesh

Principal researcher: Ananya Raihan


The Bangladeshi team has chosen to study the influence of new media on women's political decision-making in Bangladesh. They will explore new media's contribution in creating both discourses on women's rights as citizens, and possibilities for marginalised women to renegotiate these rights in their local contexts. Through a series of steps, the research aims at understanding the level and extent of marginalised women's participation in creating these discourses through new media. A citizen journalism platform was launched in January – one of the main themes being women's citizenship. It has a mobile phone-based application, which enables users to upload photos, video or audio messages. Workshops will be organised to train representatives of grassroots organisations to use the platform and its applications. The process will be taken further in two locations through in-depth interviews of selected marginalised women and “Info-ladies” who mobilise women for claiming their rights. In a country where women are still highly discriminated in gaining formal citizenship, such a study will help investigate the impact of new ICTs on gender and citizenship.  

Ananya Raihan is the Executive Director of D.Net (Development Research Network), a non-profit organisation that conducts research and runs action programmes for the integration of ICTs in the economic development processes in Bangladesh and beyond its geographic boundary. Raihan is also the E-Governance Adviser to the Access to Information Programme at Prime Minister’s Office, and has consulted and conducted research projects for a range of national, regional and global organisations including the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, UNCTAD, UNICEF, OXFAM and UNESCO. A social entrepreneur, Raihan developed the “Pallitathya Model” to improve access to knowledge and information among poor and marginalised communities. He also advanced the concept of "Benefit on Investment" (BOI) to understand and capture the sustainability dimension of public access to technology. Raihan was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004 in recognition of his contribution as a social innovator in this field.