Women Power Sees A Gleam Of Hope In B’desh Textile Sector

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The textile sector had a huge role to play in empowering women in Bangladesh economically. This is in wake of the conservative patriarchal society prevalent in the country. However, gender equality in the country is yet to pick up and nor has the concern for wellbeing of females. Women with jobs in the textile sector in fact have to face pressure from the home front too.

As statistics stand, the textile sector in Bangladesh is four decades old and has largely been responsible for generating employment in the country. Of the massive workforce that has been generated nearly four million employees are women. This constitutes a significant majority of Bangladesh’s textile work force.

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There is no dearth of articles on the exploitative nature of the Bangladeshi garment industry in the media coverage afforded. However, little statistics or figures are available on health and safety aspects for women workers in the textile sector. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB) is all set to change things on this front in a short while from now. It has recently conducted a series of studies on the subject which deals with both physical and emotional health of women.

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For example, the women interviewed spoke of working for ten hours a day every day. They have to work and support their families. They are not educated and have migrated to cities in search of job from impoverished rural households. They don’t even have the comfort of taking rest of breaks. Women attending to quality have to continually stand and conduct the proceedings. Those attending to operating machines are forced to be seated in a place for a stretch of 10 to 12 hours. They are forced to meet the stiff target of 100 shirts per hour.

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