The Law and Policies on Affirmative Action: Rhetoric and Reality
The concept of affirmative action refers to preferential treatment by the State for the disadvantaged sections in a country in order to address inequality and discrimination caused by the existence of historical pattern of injustice in a society. It aims at compensating not only past discrimination, but also addressing existing discrimination in a society. Affirmative action programmes are implemented in Bangladesh through a number of measures and strategies. However, the policies of affirmative action is generally intended to be temporary in nature and supposed to be ceased once the intended goal of such programmes is achieved. In Bangladesh, there is no time table and goals set out for the affirmative action. Although there is a significant impact of affirmative action programmes in reducing the discrimination in various sectors, given the prevailing inequality and discrimination, it is suggested the affirmative action should continue to achieve equality and eliminate discrimination. However, the existing policies and provisions on affirmative action should be reviewed constantly in order to examine its relevance and needs.