1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Women's Employment in the Textile Manufacturing Sectors of Bangladesh and Morocco


Chapter 7: Female employment under export-propelled industrialization: Prospects for internalizing global opportuninites in the apparel sector in Bangladesh, by Debapriya Bhattacharya and Mustafizur Rahman

The objective of the present chapter is to assess the adjustment dynamics of the export-oriented manufacturing sector in Bangladesh in view of the opportunities and constraints created by changes in technology and the economy. This line of investigation has been pursued in the concrete context of the apparel industry in Bangladesh, which, with a predominantly female labour force, has experienced significant growth in the recent past.

An attempt has been made to identify structural changes in Bangladesh’s manufacturing sector, and in apparel in particular, and their implications for the burgeoning female labour force. In this context, the chapter examines the firm-level behaviour of ready-made garment and knitwear producers and its implications for the welfare of women workers. Apart from the domestic factors underpinning the prospects for female industrial employment growth, the analysis also considers the impact of global demand for textiles. Finally, the chapter highlights the micro-macro linkages of public policies that affect the sustainability of female industrial employment in Bangladesh.

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