Rural markets are often vibrant places where people from all walks of life gather to buy and sell things. But look more closely and it’s clear that markets in some countries are not as inclusive as they at first seem.

In Bangladesh, for instance, women are excluded from most market activities. Because encouraging markets is taken for granted as a way to promote economic development, “What does it mean when many people, especially women, are not in a position or allowed by local norms and...

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