Gender equality in the Bangladesh RMG industry

An infographic highlighting the findings of a baseline study conducted by ILO's Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-made Garment Sector programme in Bangladesh

The ready-made garment (RMG) sector is a key contributor to the economic growth of Bangladesh, and is the country’s main export industry. This sector is also the most important provider of formal employment in the country, in particular low-skilled, entry level jobs for young women and men with or without education. Current estimates indicate that the sector directly employs 4.2 million people – of whom approximately 60% are women (a downward trend in the recent past) – and indirectly supports as many as 40 million Bangladeshis (about 25% of the population).

The ILO-RMG programme, with the financial support of the Government of Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom, initiated a baseline study (January – May 2017) to establish an evidence based repository of working conditions in the RMG sector of Bangladesh. The study analyses the demographic profile, health status and perceptions of workers and employers on working conditions in the industry. It highlights existing issues with a focus on their compliance with the Bangladesh Labour Act as well as International Labour Standards ratified by Bangladesh, and recognizes areas that require the attention of the government, workers, employers and other relevant stakeholders.