Local Government reforms in Bangladesh in 1997 introduced direct elections to reserved seats for women. This replaced an earlier system of nomination. The change allowed women a direct link with their constituency, helping to increase their legitimacy as representatives. However restrictions on mobility, lack of knowledge about local government functions, male resistance, and the gendered nature of local level politics limit women’s effective participation in local politics. Despite these obstacles, research by the Pathways South Asia team at the BRAC Development Institute of BRAC University found that reforms have partially contributed to giving women ‘a foot in the door’.