|Engendering Garment Industry
The Bangladesh Context
Pratima Paul-Majumder and Anwara Begum
ISBN 984 05 1761 9 2006 188pp 215x136mm HB Tk.356.00 US$23.00
Readymade Garment (RMG) Industry occupies a dominant position in the export manufacturing sector of Bangladesh. Most of the workers employed in this industry are women, mainly to exploit the ‘comparative advantages’ they provide in terms of cheap labour, low bargaining power and their docility etc. It follows that there will be substantial gender differentiated socio-economic impacts in this export oriented manufacturing sector. The main objective of this book is to identify these gender differentiated socio-economic impacts and to measure the extent to which these impacts on garment industry in Bangladesh.
The analysis in this book is based on the findings of a number of survey conducted by BIDS. It finds women’s employment in the export oriented garment industry of Bangladesh has narrowed down the gender gap in many spheres like employment, income, social prestige, control over income, decision making etc. At the same time women’s employment widens the gender gap in other spheres such as health, social security etc. Tension and ambivalence are also more prevalent among female workers than among the male workers. It also finds that occupational segregation and gender discrimination in wage rates was wide. Women cannot reap the full potential of their employment if these gender imbalances are not addressed. Most of the policy recommendations in this study aim at eliminating or minimising the gender imbalances arising from women employment in the export oriented garment industries.
Pratima Paul-Majumder obtained an MA in Economics from Dhaka University and Ph.D in 1978 from the Central School of Planning and Statistics, Warsaw, Poland. She was visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), Washington DC, USA, from June 1995 to August 1995. She has a number of publications of which Women, Work and Home (Dhaka: BIDS), Employment Mobility Among Women in the Manufacturing Industries of Bangladesh (New Delhi: ILO/ARTEP), Women’s Participation in Labour Force and Implication for Labour Market Segmentation (Washington: ICRW), The Squatters of Dhaka: Dynamism in the Life of the Agargaon Squatters (Dhaka: UPL). Currently she is working as a research fellow in the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
Anwara Begum has an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the Calcutta University. In 1995 she obtained a Ph.D on a Commonwealth Scholarship, in Urban and Regional Planning from the Department of Civic Design, University of Liverpool, UK. Her study fields are urban area development priority, housing and settlements and the problems of social and economic deprivation of the urban poor, Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction, education for poverty reduction and rural-to-urban migration.