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Women Empowerment in Rmg Sector

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Women Empowerment in Rmg Sector

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  • September 2008
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INTRODUCTION

Bangladesh has a population around 160 million (July 2008 est.). About 45% of them are still living below the poverty line. Bangladesh’s Human development index (HDI) is 139 (out of 177), ranking as the lowest in the Asian country list. GDP per capita (PPP US$) is 1,770, which make the countries HDI rank almost the same as the GDP rank. In Bangladesh Garment exports began in the late 1970s. But the scale was for a number of years modest up until the government’s 1982 New Industrial Policy to liberalize manufacturing, promote private participation, foreign investment and exports. During the last 10 years RMG has become one of the most important sectors of Bangladesh both from the domestic perspective and foreign earnings. Now RMG contributes about 76% of the foreign exports. Again it is also mentionable that about 80% of the workers in the RMG sector are female. Thus it is not contributing in earnings foreign currencies but also create employment opportunities for the women, which in turn contribute in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh. So it is very much essential to assess the current status of the women workers in RMG sector to take appropriate strategy to facilitates them by ensuring their rights so that this sector become more convenient for them. This will encourage the women and provide them the opportunity to contribute in development of Bangladesh.

OVERVIEW OF RMG SECTOR IN BANGLADESH

Bangladesh had no sign of the ready-made garment industry until late 1970s to early 1980s when foreign investors started their businesses in Bangladesh. The emergence of an export-oriented RMG industry in Bangladesh can be traced to a confluence of policy trends at global and national levels. The opportunity came to us as a result of quota system imposed on some developed countries. The idea of readymade garments came to our country in 1978 from South Korean company Daewoo. Daewoo trained some 130 officials of Desh Garments and had a...