December 20, 2023
Over the past 40 years, the growth of the ready-made garment industry (RMG) in Bangladesh has triggered a social change by generating considerable formal employment opportunities for women. The industry has made women visible in the labour market and empowered in society. However, in recent years the proportion of women workers in the sector has been on the decline. Women no longer comprise 80% of the labour force in the RMG sector – the most recent estimates show the share of women workers to be less than 55%. These changes have significant implications for women’s economic empowerment, as well as the well-being of their families and communities. It is also likely to impact on business models for manufacturers and buyers alike. It will also have a negative impact on the national development agenda.