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Lives beyond Machines- A Reflection on Priorities for Women in the RMG Sector
March 12, 2014
Dhaka (9th March, 2014) – 90 percent of the garment workers in the RMG sector are women whose contribution made it possible for the exponential growth of the RMG sector in Bangladesh since 1980s. 13 percent of total GDP of the nation comes from the RMG sector where 4.2 million Bangladeshis are employed.
These workers, who are mainly women, come from low income families in the rural areas that previously did not have any opportunity to be part of the formal workforce. Their entry into the workforce has changed the face of urban Dhaka but their contribution and struggles are often unrecognized, and they are often marginalized and vulnerable to exploitation. They face a wide range of challenges in realizing their full potentials and aspirations.
CARE believes that these women workers can only attain empowerment through sustained changes in terms of their agency and the structures and relationship they have interface with. ‘Solidarity and Empowerment through Education, Motivation and Awareness’ (SEEMA), a 1.26mn€ project co-financed by European Union & Austrian Development Cooperation, CARE aims to promote and protect the rights of the female garment workers by improving their human condition and social position. SEEMA facilitates a process combining various tools of leadership, psycho-social well-being and awareness that instils aspiration and engages women workers together to form solidarity and promote rights.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day this year, SEEMA project organized a reflection on 9th March, 2014 at CIRDAP Auditorium with its program participants who work in the RMG sector to learn from them about their lives and changes they envision for the future. The event served as a platform to express solidarity with the women of the RMG sector in their struggle and reaffirm our commitment to establish their rights as women and as RMG workers.
The event was attended by His Excellency Mr. William Hanna, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, European Union's Delegation to Bangladesh as chief guest and Ms. Christine Hunter, Country Representative of UN Women as special guest along with 100 RMG workers. Ms. Jamie Terzi, Country Director, CARE Bangladesh welcomed the guests in the event. A documentary - "The hands that sew your shirt" developed by CARE Austria was screened followed by Forum Theatre and reflections of women workers on their priorities to improve their lives and livelihoods.

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