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 4: Gender dimensions of labour migration in Dhaka city's formal manufacturing sector, by Rita Afsar

Recent years have witnessed an increasing awareness of women’s productive roles, mobility and contributions to development. Nevertheless, the processes of women’s migration and entry into the labour market, and their coping strategies within the urban labour market and society, have received little attention in policy discourse. Such neglect is regrettable, not only because female migration is occurring on a scale comparable to that of men in most regions of Asia, but also because there are interrelations between female migration, the functioning of the urban labour market and society, and women’s roles and status.

This study explores the ways in which migrant women enter and cope with the demands of the urban labour market and society, compared to male migrants and non-migrant workers of either sex. More specifically, it addresses the following questions:
  • Is there any difference in the socioeconomic characteristics of migrant men and women who enter into the urban labour market and do these characteristics differ remarkably from those of non-migrant workers;
  • Is there any difference in motivations for and processes through which migrant men and women enter the labour market;
  • Do men and women migrants receive differential treatment in the labour market and in the urban community (e.g. living conditions); and
  • Do men and women migrants adopt different strategies to deal with and improve their living and working conditions.

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