News - 2023

MIND THE GAP - Current study on the situation of women textile workers in Bangladesh.

FEMNET partner organisation investigates prevailing working conditions and wage practices in garment manufacturing, and designs a fairer wage structure.

In the course of the joint MAP project of HEJSupport, SÜDWIND-Institute, INKOTA-network and FEMNET, our partner organisation BILS (Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies) has conducted a comprehensive study on wages and working conditions in Bangladesh - and has scrutinised factories in which member companies of the Textile Alliance buy.

While safety precautions have indeed visibly improved in recent years, other working conditions have hardly changed: Forced labour, excessive overtime, discrimination, abuse, violence against women, wage theft and lack of freedom of association are still omnipresent. Many of the abuses are due to the more than inadequate wages: According to BILS calculations, wages are currently 11% below the poverty line. The demands of BILS regarding wage increases amount to around 22,000 taka, almost three times the current minimum wage - and are urgently needed. The vast majority of workers are in debt and live on monthly loans.

"As far as labour laws and standards are concerned, illegal dismissals, restricted freedom of association, abuses and forced labour, discrimination, wage theft, extreme overtime (...) and inadequate occupational health and safety are the order of the day in most factories. The purchasing practices of buying companies care little about this."
Source: Mind the Gap, p. 5