Workshop on Women, Men and Labor Markets in Bangladesh:
Constraints, Choices and Policy Challenges

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Women have great opportunities to contribute to the national economy. Despite of the opportunities, one of the barriers to the women is having lack of confidence. Again, women are being harassed in different ways in the buses, markets, offices or in public places by the men who also led them to decrease the confidence. Besides these, the unpaid works of women are being ignored. These observations were made by the specialists at the daylong workshop titled “Women, Men and Labor Markets in Bangladesh: Constraints, Choices and Policy Challenges” organized by The Center for Gender and Social Transformation (CGST) of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University on December 2, 2017 at the city.

Prof. Naila Kabeer, Department of International Development and Gender Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science; Ms. Simeen Mahmud, Head, and Lopita Huq, Research Fellow of CGST presented the findings from the research project on “Choice, Constraint and Gender Dynamics of Labour Markets in Bangladesh.” The papers discussed how choice and constraints interact to shape the labor market behavior of women and men using survey and qualitative data from 8 districts in Bangladesh.

Ms. Mahmud said that according to the latest survey conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS); only 36 percent women were involved in labor in the country. But in two surveys conducted in 2008 and 2015, the data revealed that 67 percent of women are involved in labor market.

Charing of the workshop Prof. Ashwini Deshpande of the Department of Economics of Delhi School of Economics mentioned it would be helpful to know more about women involved in labor. She urged to think about what can be done for these women engaged in labor.

Prof. Kabeer; Dr. Shahidur Rahman, BRAC University and Dr. Mahmudur Rahman, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh (ULAB) presented preliminary findings from a collaborative research project on “Changes in the Governance of Garment Global Production Networks: Lead Firm, Supplier and Institutional Responses to the RANA Plaza Disaster” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The findings discussed how employers and workers in the Bangladesh RMG sector assess their experience with the Accord/Alliance agreements that were put in place in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster.