Essay on Behind the Scenes of the Garment Industry in Bangladesh.

1825 Words Dec 20th, 2012 8 Pages
Behind the scenes of the garment industry in Bangladesh. And the challenge of making even a modest change
In the fashion industry, a company selling a T-shirt in the UK for EUR 4.95 may spend only 95 cents on production in Bangladesh, yet it will still see to it that ‘corporate responsibility’ is written large in the headlines of its sustainability reports. How can this be?
From a feminist perspective, it is curious how in order to perform idealised gender/class identities women and men must buy cheap fashion items from primark and H&M, which are produced by low-paid factory female workers exploited by working on less than minimum wage.. This I believe is a fair starting point for any gender/class analysis of the power relations through
…show more content…
This has reduced marginalisation of women who were previously excluded from formal sector jobs. Dhaka’s factory garment workers are enabled to contribute to their own and other family members’ basic needs. Remittances from garment workers also created redistribution from city to countryside and helped to raise the status of women in their families and communities. To some extent this has created a more visible significance of women as economic contributors to their families and have reduced social gendered pressures for them to marry early. To some extent it has also reversed traditional gender norms of women’s sole responsibility for domestic work as their work in the garment factory has encouraged their husbands to share the burden.
However, these women are a source of exploited labour and work intensely for a period of time and then move on, only to be replaced by a continuous supply of young women from the country side. The health risks of the low-skilled work and conflictions with married/family life tends to make the garment industry unsustainable for them over the long run. In perhaps a clumsy way it could be said that women are employed in the export-oriented industries to exploit the comparative advantages of their disadvantages – such as the low price of their labour, their lower bargaining power, and their docility compared to male workers. Studies indicate that garment workers, particularly female garment workers,
Open Document