You may have noticed International Newspapers to address Bangladesh as the new Asian economic power. This has been possible because of the continuous 6% plus GDP growth for a long time. Even when all the big economies were struggling in 2020 due to Covid-19 Bangladesh managed to have around 7% GDP growth thanks to the ready–made garments (RMG) industry.
According to ifc.org ready-made garments (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has grown from $19 billion to $34 billion in the last seven years. This 79% growth makes RMG sector the largest exporting industry in Bangladesh with more than 80% share. Moreover, around 80% employees of the RMG sector are Women. Previously, they worked just a housewife and neither have any economic contribution to their families nor any decision-making power. Now they are being able spend the extra money for child education, food, and house rents. Sometimes, they save money and purchase land or build house to secure a certain future. Overall, such empowerment is helping woman to put an end on the male domination which is going on for decades in Bangladesh.
Recently some garments factories are seen to hire young girls (student) as a part-time employee, and they receive a healthy amount at the end of the month what they use to cover the education expenses. Some of these women are even getting higher education from different universities while working. Yes, most of these women work as entry-level workers but with the higher education and necessary skills, some of them are securing mid-level positions too.
Thus, the RMG sector is helping Bangladesh to battle another big social issue named Child marriage. Previously girls were forced to get married before 15 in the rural areas. Now those parents are sending their daughters to Dhaka (Capital of Bangladesh) to work, and they can also get educated while working. I know this is not the perfect solution we dream about but it is an opportunity for them to survive, get educated, and raise their voice against all the inequalities.