Women’s participation in white-collar garment jobs remains low

Total stakeholder effort required to change perspectives of participation

TBS Report

September 15, 2021, 10:00 p.m.

Last modification: September 15, 2021, 10:02 PM

By 2030, automation will take place in garment manufacturing and Bangladesh will lose the advantage of low-cost labor and mass production. Photo: Mumit M / TBS

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By 2030, automation will take place in garment manufacturing and Bangladesh will lose the advantage of low-cost labor and mass production. Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Bangladeshi development professionals and garment manufacturers said there were still few women in middle and senior positions in the garment industries due to their reluctance to take white collar jobs.

“The responsibilities seem to be enormous when a woman is promoted to the position of supervisor by an operator, and then she cannot devote enough time to the family. Therefore, many women workers do not prefer middle positions, ”Farhtheeba Rahat Khan, Team Leader of RMG’s Inclusive Business Program, SNV Bangladesh, told a conference in Dhaka on Wednesday.

“Graduates opt for banking or other jobs instead of coming to the garment industry,” she told The Business Standard after the session of the 5th International Conference on Inclusive Business.

Jamal Uddin, inclusive affairs consultant at SNV Bangladesh, also highlighted the participation of poor women in mid-level management in clothing.

Shahiullah Azim, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), echoed Farhtheeba Rahat Khan on the participation of women.

He said: “Women will need to have self-esteem and interest to advance to the highest positions. They are lagging behind because they lack interest.

Azim, however, said the image of participation had changed a lot as more and more women held high-level positions. In addition, some BGMEA measures are underway to ensure an inclusive business.

According to the Sustainable Development Goals – a global development plan to be achieved by 2030 – women must have full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political and economic life. and public.

During the program, the speakers recommended an effective role and a total effort of the stakeholders to change the perspectives of participation.

Dr AK Abdul Momen opened the conference and joined him as guest of honor.

He said: “Ready-made clothes and leather products are our pride. We are looking for opportunities where we could make a significant contribution to global productivity and finance networks with the Netherlands. “

The Foreign Minister said the Netherlands was the seventh largest investor in Bangladesh in 2019 and bilateral trade between the countries had increased.

The conference was jointly organized by the Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI) and the Dutch development organizations SNV.

Md Anwar Shawkat Afser, Chairman of DBCCI, ‍Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), Ismene Stalpers, Country Director of SNV Bangladesh spoke among others at the event.

Elizabeth J. Harless