Textile News, Apparel News, RMG News, Fashion Trends
Industry Insight News & Analysis

Number of female workers declining in RMG sector

Female workers participation in Bangladesh readymade garments sector is decreasing due to the automation of manufacturing, finds a survey conducted by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). According to the survey, female workers’ participation ratio in the garment sector was 60.8 percent in 2016 that was 64 percent in 2015.

A dialogue titled “Ongoing Upgradation in RMG Enterprises: Results from a Survey” held on 3rd March where CPD shared the findings of an interim report based on an enterprise and worker level survey in Bangladesh’s RMG enterprises conducted under its study titled ‘New Dynamics in Bangladesh’s Apparels Enterprises: Perspectives on Restructuring, Upgradation, and Compliance Assurance’.

Figure1: Professor Rahman Sobhan, Chairman, CPD delivered his keynote speech in the program.
Figure1: Professor Rahman Sobhan, Chairman, CPD delivered his keynote speech in the program.

The survey, which was done within 2270 workers of 193 factories, said that Bangladesh readymade garments sector has developed in socially including compliance, safety, and security but in the economic arena, its development is not satisfactory.

The report reveals that the share of female workers are slowly rising in grade III, IV and V, while the percentage remains very marginal in top grades such as Grade I and II. About 47 percent of large enterprises and 25 percent of medium enterprises use advanced technology but the small enterprises are still lagging in terms of technology. Female workers were proportionately found to be less knowledgeable about operating different machines compared to their male peers.

As per the survey findings, there is a 3% gap between male and female wage but it is at a limited level. The average monthly wage of male workers is Tk7,270, while it is Tk7,058 for female workers.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of the CPD said that female workers’ participation is declining because the factory owners think female workers are not able to handle modern machinery properly.

According to the survey, the average yearly growth of employment in the sample enterprises during 2012-16 was 3.3 percent, down from 4.01 percent during 2005-2012.  About 50 percent of the managers have a postgraduate degree and 20 percent of them have graduation degree, where a large number of the managers graduated in disciplines which have little relevant with management and operation of the industrial enterprise.

Survey also found that, high level of gender imbalance in the management position between male and female professionals.

Table 1: Showing comparison between male and female professionals in Managerial position. (Source: CPD-RMG study 2017-18)
Table 1: Showing comparison between male and female professionals in Managerial position. (Source: CPD-RMG study 2017-18)

The survey found about 16 percent of the sample enterprises have employed foreign staff. According to the survey result, the workers’ monthly wage on average is Tk 7,270 for male and Tk 7,058 for female, excluding the bonuses.

Table3: Foreign staffs working in different sections where Production, Planning 37.3 percent, Washing Department 8.2; Merchandising.20.1 percent; Quality Assurance 11.9 percent. (Source: CPD survey 2017-18)
Table 2: Foreign staffs working in different sections where Production, Planning 37.3 percent, Washing Department 8.2; Merchandising.20.1 percent; Quality Assurance 11.9 percent. (Source: CPD survey 2017-18)

According to the survey, most of the firms have workers’ participation committees (WPC); trade unions are almost non-existent in only 3.3 percent of the surveyed factories. According to labor law of 2013, members of the WPC shall be elected by votes.

BGMEA

We hope that minimum wage board would finalize a wage for the workers considering workers needs and industry owner’s strengths.  Every year we were provided 5 percent increment for our workers said, Siddiqur Rahman.

Md. Babul Akter, the Former Secretary General of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, said that real trade unions were not being formed in the RMG sector due to various reasons. Currently, the total trade union is 650, Babul added.

“Workers salary should increase to 16000 tk. Where 10000 Tk will be the main salary as day by day cost of everything is increasing. Babul also said that the government should consider the social safety issue of workers.

“We are working for the human capital development of our workers to adopt the new technology,” said, Fazlee Shamim Ehasan, ManagingDirector, Fatullah Apparels and Vice President of BKMEA. “Poor infrastructure, Inefficiency port, gas, energy are the present problem of the RMG sector,” he added.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

Latest Publications

View All