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Workshop on Women, men and labor markets in Bangladesh: constraints, choices and policy challenges at BRAC Centre, Dhaka

News vom 05.12.2017

The Centre for Gender and Social Transformation (CGST) at the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University organised a workshop on Women, men and labor markets in Bangladesh: constraints, choices and policy challenges on December 2, 2017 at BRAC Centre, Dhaka. The team memberes discussed findings from our ongoing research project, focusing in particular on how employers and workers in the Bangladesh ready made garment (RMG) sector assess their experience with the Accord and the Alliance – two agreements ensuring fire and factory safety that were put in place in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory disaster.

Shahidur Rahman and Mahmudur Rahman presented a paper titled “Accord and Alliance: Institutional Burden or Positive Spill Over.” Building on a survey with 150 factory managers from Bangladeshi garment factories, the objectives of the paper were: (a) To understand factory management’s overall perceptions on the two multi-actor governance approaches, Accord and Alliance, (b) To explore any impact and/or spillover of the Accord and the Alliance on the factories in the sample, (c) To reveal the challenges that selected RMG factory management faced in terms of (i) the Accord’s and the Alliance’s inspection processes and (ii) implementation of the Corrective Action Plans (CAPs). It was the first time in Bangladesh stories of managements on inspection process were shared with the audience.

Naila Kabeer gave a presentation on the very first results from a survey with 1500 factory workers, presenting a first set of frequencies of workers' responses and perception according to whether they belonged to factories covered by the Accord or the Alliance or not.

There was a lot of interest on these preliminary findings. In the discussion, issues were raised such as who bears the cost of remediation in buyer-driven supply chains, whether the remediation process would be sustained after the ending of Accord and Alliance after 2018 or how to deal with brands and buyers that do not insist on remediation. The session was chaired by Mustafizur Rahman, an eminent researcher in this field. He suggested that the findings need to be validated by bringing in the perspective of the Accord/Alliance.

Other participants included representative from the Department of Inspection for Fire and Establishment (Government body), entrepreneurs, activists, union and other scholars. In an open discussion, the participants agreed that the government of Bangladesh should overcome institutional weaknesses to produce an effective body to ensure a safe working place.

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