A large portion of the existing research on social exclusion in Bangladesh focuses on women (this is dealt with in a separate GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report on ‘Gender Inequality in Bangladesh’). Much of the remaining research focuses on ethnic minorities (indigenous peoples), who are concentrated in rural areas and variably excluded from social, political, and economic arenas. These groups have experienced lack of recognition, fear and insecurity, loss of cultural identity, and social oppression. Other excluded groups include sex workers, people with disabilities, street children and urban-rural migrants.
A common form of exclusion for the above groups is exclusion from wider social (support) networks, which can be essential in areas where state services are lacking. Other common manifestations of exclusion are; unequal access to employment opportunities; unequal access to formal services such as health and water and sanitation; and landlessness, which is often cited as a particularly damaging form of discrimination. A major area of concern in terms of the impact of social exclusion seems to be the exclusion of children from education.
Drivers of social exclusion include: long held discriminatory beliefs and stigma; social institutions such as the caste system; and the hierarchical organisation of societies according to dominant cultural values.