More women standing for election in Bangladesh
The number of women running in Bangladesh's December 29 parliamentary polls has risen compared to previous national elections, according to records, reported dpa.
Rights activists called it an encouraging trend to promote the rights of women.
The election commission validated candidacies of 55 women for the polls to return the South Asian nation to a democratic system, ending nearly two years of emergency rule.
A total of 1,565 candidates compete for the 300 seats in Bangladesh's parliament.
The candidates include two former prime ministers, Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Khaleda Zia, who have led lead the country's main political parties, Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party, for nearly three decades.
Hasina is the heir of Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was assassinated in a military putsch in 1975. Zia is the widow former president Ziaur Rahman, killed by army officers in 1981.
A total of 38 women candidates contested in 46 parliamentary seats in the 2001 elections.
Bangladesh's constitution reserves 45 seats for women in the 300-member national parliament.
Ayesha Khanam, chief of the Mahila Parisad (Women's Council), called it a good sign that parties are nominating more women for office.
"But still we have a long way to go since most women are still unaware about their rights," she said.
Violence, negligence and discrimination against women are frequent in the patriarchal society, she said.
The female voters outnumbered males for the first time in Bangladesh history, according to voter rolls published by the Election Commission. Out of a total of 81,058,698, voters 41,236149 are women.