USAID’S Women Thrive In Bangladesh Activity

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Project Synopsis

The Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) sector is yet to emerge as a compliance sector for its women workers in standards of decent work. From this activity’s baseline study, it was found that only 3% of women workers are enjoying better employment opportunities at their workplace. Besides, 19% of the women workers expressed their willingness to undertake higher roles, whereas roughly 80–90% of Bangladesh's labor force is employed in the informal sector.

In these circumstances, this USAID’s Thrive Activity came up as a response to multiple forms of gender discrimination that constrain women workers from realizing their full economic potential. Women workers face barriers such as negative social perception of their entrepreneur roles; their competing responsibilities for household work; having a lack of capital, job-related skills, financial literacy; and they are often subject to sexual harassment. The impact of COVID-19 makes them even more vulnerable in terms of increased stress and Gender-based Violence (GBV), as well as economic hardship and uncertainty.

Projects Coverage

Achievements and Milestones

A total of 908,750 women and partly men reached directly and indirectly

Husna Ara's Story

It was not easy to get a job due to her disability. But after searching a lot, she finally got a job in the Islampur Norp factory. When she joined the factory, she didn't like the environment because the factory supervisor used abusive language. But she could never protest because of the fear of losing her job. She used to cry a lot, but there was nothing to do. Physically challenged Husna Ara came to Gazipur with her husband for a job.

“Previously, I felt very shy and unable to talk with people. After participating in EKATA WFS activities, I feel inspired and motivated, I took part in various sessions, including group discussions and role-play, and learned about labor laws, and the right to be united. Later, I became a member of the worker’s federation”, said Husna Ara.