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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Politics, Culture and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Capabilities
  • Human capital in developing countries
  • Marriage in developing countries
  • Women's education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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