Cashing In

The Business Case for Women’s Empowerment in the Garment Industry

This report presents a business case for investing in the empowerment of women in the ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh.

Cashing in report cover image

Developing and sustaining the vibrant ready-made garment industry is vital to Bangladesh’s economy.

Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of ready-made garments in the world, and the RMG industry is widely credited for contributing to an improvement in living standards in the country, particularly for women.

Though there has been a significant decline in the number of women working in the RMG sector, women continuously play a huge role in the RMG workforce in Bangladesh. In fact, 80% of the women working in the country’s manufacturing sector are employed in RMG factories, making female employment highly crucial to the sector.

Thus, attracting female workers, maximszing their productivity and reducing their absenteeism, and minimising female worker turnover are all critical to the continued success and growth of the RMG sector, and for the Bangladeshi economy as a whole.

This report presents a business case for investing in the empowerment of women in the RMG industry in Bangladesh. Specifically, it analyses the impact of gender-specific and gender-sensitive interventions on worker absenteeism and turnover – two well-established metrics for measuring business impact.

The analysis draws on international best practice, as well as the good practice empowerment interventions already being introduced and/or implemented in factories, to identify the impact on women workers in the sector.

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Skills and work, Livelihoods