Dr. Marufa Akter is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Global Studies and Governance in Independent University, Bangladesh. She obtained a PhD in Political Science from University of Bremen, Germany and her dissertation titled: Women’s Political Participation in Bangladesh Parliament: A Case Study Analysis of Women’s Substantive Representation. She has obtained a Masters degree in Public Policy from Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt, Germany under DAAD scholarship. She also holds a Bachelor and a Master of Social Sciences degree in International Relations from University of Dhaka. She has attended a one-year graduate course on Peace building, and Conflict Transformation at the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont, USA. She works in the areas of women and politics; gender and governance; women, peace and security; conflict resolution and peace building.
2022 Fellowship for Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship Programme, Beyond Borders, Scotland.
2020 Fellowship Grant for the research on Women and Work in South Asia: Rights and Innovations, Firedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Dhaka
2017 Dissertation Completion Grant, International Center of Bremen University, Germany.
2017 DAAD Mirror Stipend for research stay abroad, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Bremen, Germany.
2015 Bremen IDEA-OUT Grant for field research, Bremen University, Germany.
2014 Doctoral Fellowship (2014-2015 to 2016-2017), Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Bremen, Germany.
2013 Graduate School Certificate Course Grant, SIT Graduate Institute, Vermont, USA.
2012 US State Department Fund sponsorship for three weeks International Conference in Nepal and Bangladesh.
2012 ‘Commitment Award 2012’ First prize winner; awarded by Willy Brandt School of Public Policy and the Engagementpreis Foundation for an outstanding social project. The project dubbed “Open Sky Class for the Street Children of Dhaka City” received a first prize cash amount of 2,500 Euros for the implementation in Bangladesh.
2010 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship for Masters in Public Policy and Good Governance (2010-2012).
2005 University Merit Scholarship awarded by the University of Dhaka for the year 2004-2005 on Master’s result: full tuition fees waiver.
Akter, M. (2021). Bangladesh: Hope in the Midst of Uncertainties. In N. Adler & S. Sackmann, The grand challenge none of us chose: Succeeding (and failing) against the global pandemic. In J. S. Osland, S. B. Reiche, B. Szkudlarek, & M. E. Mendenhall (Eds.). Advances in Global Leadership (Vol. 14). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Akter, Marufa, “When Women and Men Legislators Talk About Women’s Issues, Do They Talk About The Same Things? Evidence From The Bangladesh Parliament” Journal of Bangladesh Studies, Vol 22. Num 2. 2020.
Akter, Marufa, “Pathways to Women’s Substantive Representation: An Assessment of Enactment of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010 in the Bangladesh Parliament”, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Humanities), 64: 1, (June 2019).
Akter, Marufa, “Conceptualizing Environmental Governance on the GBM Basin”, Bandung: Journal of the Global South 3: 25, (30 June 2016).
Akter, Marufa and Ashequa Irshad, “The Role of the World Bank in Combating Corruption: Achievements and Challenges”. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) Journal, Vol. 34, NO. 4, (October 2013). http://www.biiss.org/biiss_journal/october2013_issue.html
Akter, Marufa and Niloy R. Biswas, “Coercive State Intervention in Conflict Resolution: The Case of Sri Lanka”, Social Science Review (Dhaka University Studies, Part D), Vol. 29, No. 2 (December 2012).
“Sexual/Gender Camp Violence & Institutional Response Limits: Rohingyas in Bangladesh”, in Rohingya Camp Narratives: Tales from the ‘Lesser roads’ Traveled. Edited volume. (Accepted by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022).
Akter, Marufa, “Women in Work: A Review of Formal Regimes in Bangladesh”, in Women and Work in South Asia: Rights and Innovations, edited by Amena Mohsin et el. University Press Limited: Dhaka ( February 2022)
Sultan, M., Akter, M. et el, “In search of justice: Untold tales of domestic violence survivors.” BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University & Rule of Law Programme, GIZ Bangladesh (March 2022).
Akter, Marufa, “Women’s Political Participation in Bangladesh Parliament: A Case Study Analysis of Women’s Substantive Representation”, A doctoral thesis Monograph published by University of Bremen, Germany (August 2019). https://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/edocs/00107558-1.pdf
Akter, Marufa and Nazneen, Sohela, “Engendering Democracy: Women, Political Parties and Inclusion in Bangladesh”, The State of Governance Bangladesh 2013: Democracy Party Politics, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University (November 2014).
Policy Brief/Technical Briefs/Working Papers
Sultan, M., Akter, M., Pragyna, M., Pabony, N. & Tasnim, F. (2021). Access to Justice During COVID-19 for Survivors of Domestic Violence, available at
Akter, Marufa, ‘Women in Politics in South Asia’, Technical Background Paper Issue 1, Centre for Gender and Social Transformation, BRAC Development Institute, University (February 2013). The paper is available on, http://sarswp.weebly.com/womens-political-participation-in-south-asia.html
Akter, Marufa, ‘UN Security Council Resolution 1325 And its Implementation, Technical Background Paper Issue 4, Centre for Gender and Social Transformation, BRAC Development Institute, BRAC University (February 2013). The paper is available on, http://sarswp.weebly.com/unscr-1325.html
Name of the Project: Women and Work in South Asia: Rights and Innovations, from Centre for Genocide Studies, Dhaka University and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh
Title of the research paper: Women in Work: Legal Regimes in Bangladesh
Name of the Project: Globalization and Cultural Transformations among the Youth: A Study of Public and Private Universities in Bangladesh, funded by Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh.
Title of the research paper: “Social Media in Understanding Cultural Transformation: Experiences of Students from Selective Private Universities in Dhaka”
Name of the Project: “Women as a Transformative Agents: Trajectories of Women Empowerment”, an IUB 2021 Sponsored Research project, whose manuscript will be deposited one year from receiving the formal notification (likely end of 2021-22 fiscal year)
2021 “Women in Work: A Review of Formal Regimes in Bangladesh’, presented in a regional webinar on Women and Work in South Asia: Rights and Innovations (14-15 July 2021), organized by Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka and Centre for Genocide, DU.
2021 “Influence of direct and indirect cost on accessing justice for survivors of domestic violence: Evidence from Bangladesh”, presented in an international conference titled 29TH IAFFE Annual Conference, June 21 to 25 2021, Ecuador.
2020 ‘Dealing with the Pandemic: Bangladesh’, presented in a panel title Dealing with the Pandemic: Learning across Nations from Culturally Informed Leadership in European International Business Academy Conference, December 11, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
2020 “Glocalization of Women’s Movement: Making Differences in Political Representation of Women in Bangladesh”, presented in an international conference titled “Revisiting International Relations: Critical Reflections on 100 years (1919-2019), January 20, 2020, organized by the department of International Relations, Dhaka University, Bangladesh.
2019 “Water Management and Hidden Gender Cost: The Case of Dhaka”, presented in an international conference titled ‘New Megacity: for whom?, November 2019, organized by Global Studies and Governance (GSG) Program, Independent University, Bangladesh.
2019 ‘Pathways to Women’s Substantive Representation: learning from Gender Equity Legislation in the Bangladesh Parliament’, presented in a panel titled Gender, Power and Politics: Challenges in Bangladesh in Quadrangulated Quandary, 4 July 2019, Independent University of Bangladesh.
2017 ‘Women in Bangladesh Parliament: Power, Politics and Substantive Representation’, presented in a panel titled Unexplored Aspects of Women’s Substantive Representation: Considering New Settings, Actors, Institutions and Interconnections in 5th European Conference on Politics and Gender, 8-10 June, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
2016 ‘Representation of Women in Bangladesh Parliament- Does the Presence of Women Reflect their Substantive Representation?’, presented in a panel titled Explaining the Representation of Women and Minorities in Parliament in 10th ECPR General Conference, from 7-10 September, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
2016 Oxford Spring School Course in Advanced Research Methods, from 11 – 15 April, organized by University of Oxford, UK.
2015 ‘Women’s Substantive Representation at the Parliament of Bangladesh’, presented PhD project in Contested Narratives: International Workshop with PhD Course, from 23-24 April, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
2013 Women Delegate from Bangladesh in Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development, at the Institute of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP), a two-week program of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. The program is co-hosted by Mount Holyoke, Simmons, and Smith colleges, from May 25 to June 6, 2014 in South Hadley, Boston, and Northampton, Massachusetts in the Northeast of the United States.
2012 CONTACT South Asia Education and Peace Building Program for Emerging Leaders. Organized by SIT Graduate Institute, USA, from 1-16 December.
Course Instructor: Tatsushi Arai, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Peace Building and Conflict Transformation, SIT Graduate Institute, USA.
2007 Training Course on Research Methodology for Social Science Research, from June 30- July 06, organized by BRAC University.
Course Director: Professor Naila Kabeer (Institute of Development Studies, UK).