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New Book Scrutinizes Women’s Employment in the Textile Manufacturing Sectors of Bangladesh and Morocco

8 Oct 2002



Today’s trade liberalization and economic restructuring affects many countries that have a large female workforce in labour-intensive industries. Given the limits imposed on productivity by low skill, labour-intensive strategies, increasing competitiveness must come in large part from technological upgrading and increasing labour productivity. Such as strategy is likely to result in a workforce both better trained and better compensated, although at least in the short term, it may also result in overall job losses. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that women will be the first to lose their jobs, and the last to receive the education and training necessary to compete in the new labour force.

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), carried out an action research programme on Technical Co-operation and Women’s lives for 6 years. The objective of the programme was to facilitate a substantive dialogue between gender researchers, economists and policy makers, and to encourage the involvement of national research teams and civil society organizations in national policy debates. In Bangladesh and Morocco, the research focused on the feminization of the labour force in the context of increasing export manufacturing and trade liberalization. This book, titled
Women’s Employment in the Textile Manufacturing Sectors of Bangladesh and Morocco, and edited by Carol Miller and Jessica Vivian, is based on the research carried out by national research teams in those two countries.

The book reminds us that the ability to develop successful export-oriented manufacturing has been geographically patchy and uneven, and in many cases it has not been sustainable.

Contents: Chapter 1: Introduction—Shahra Razavi and Jessica Vivian Chapter 2: Wage Discrimination by Gender in Morocco’s Urban Labour Force: Evidence and Implications for Industrial and Labour PolicySaad Belghazi with Sally BadenChapter 3:Gender and Employment in Moroccan Textile Industries—Rahma BourqiaChapter 4: Gender Dimensions of Labour Migration in Dhaka City’s Formal Manufacturing Sector—Rita AfsarChapter 5: Becoming a Garment Worker: The Mobilization of Women into the Garment Factories of Bangladesh—Nazli KibriaChapter 6: Trade Unions, Gender Issue and the Ready-Made Garment Industry of Bangladesh—Shamsul KhanChapter 7: Female Employment Under Export-Propelled Industrialization : Prospects for Internalizing Global Opportunities in the Apparel Sector in Bangladesh—Debapriya Bhattacharya and Mustafizur Rahman.

Carol Miller is a policy analyst on gender issues at ActionAid, UK. She worked for several years as a research associate at UNRISD, where she was involved in the Technical Co-operation and Women’s Lives Project, and Jessica Vivian spent several years as a project leader at UNRISD and is currently an independent consultant based in the United States.

Women’s Employment in the Textile Manufacturing Sectors of Bangladesh and Morocco is published with funding from UNDP. Paperback ISBN 92-9085-039-6, 264 pages, 2002,

Order from: UNRISD – USD 25.00