Health Impact of Women's Wage Employment: A Case Study of the Garment Industry of Bangladesh
Author: Pratima Paul-Majumde
This paper has analysed the impact of women’s wage employment on their health. The analysis in the paper shows that the female workers employed in the garment industry of Bangladesh had to pay a high price in terms of ill health to acquire a socio-economic status in the society with their wage employment. A large number of female workers suffered from various illnesses after starting work in the garment industry in spite of the fact that due to wage employment they could afford to buy better food and better accommodation which have a positive impact on health. This is mainly due to overwork, incongenial working conditions and above all because of wide-ranging labour law violations. A bi-variate analysis and a multivatriate regression analysis of the determinants of workers’ health status shows that gender is a significant variable in this context. The result of the regression analysis further shows that work hour exerts the largest negative influence on the relative probability of having good health. Grave concerns have also been expressed in this paper about the negative impact of garment work on female workers’ mental health. Finally, the paper suggests that the introduction of a two-shift working system, the implementation of labour laws regarding employing a qualified medical practitioner and installing fire fighting equipment and the introduction of health insurance and health education programmes would ease the health problems of the female garment workers.
Determinants of the Gender Composition of Employment in Manufacturing Enterprises
Author: Nurul IslamRushidan
The paper analyses the factors influencing women’s employment in the formal manufacturing sector and takes into account both demand and supply side determinants of gender composition of employment. On the basis of data from 100 manufacturing enterprises in Dhaka city, it has been concluded that the characteristics of enterprises and the attitude of employers towards women’s employment have emerged as significant determinants of female employment in manufacturing enterprises. Among the characteristics of enterprises, the export orientation of industries has been observed to have largest positive impact on female employment.The experience of the enterprises with female employees do not provide an evidence of higher non-wage and/or non-financial costs of employing women. Female employees did not show either greater absenteeism or larger turnover rate compared to their male counterpart. Moreover, such non-wage costs are often converted into financial costs and are covered through adjustment of financial benefits (or negative benefits) provided to women. Even if there is no evidence that female employees take leave more frequently or require the provision of expensive physical facilities at the work place, an apprehension about these problems prevail among the employers, especially in the enterprises which have few female workers. Such apprehension acts as a deterrent to the employment of female workers.
Bangladesh Towards Twenty-First Century
Author: Nurul Islam
The two challenges Bangladesh faces as she enters the twenty first century are: (a) rapid transition to a market oriented private enterprise economy and (b) integration in the world economy. This article deals with a few selected issues in respect of each of these challenges. The principal issues in the first category are: the reform of the financial institutions; progress and prospects of privatization and public expenditure review illustrated by case of defense expenditure. These three measures are interrelated and significantly affect the mobilization of resources for development and therefore, the rate of growth in savings and investment.The important challenges in the field of external economic policy relate to: (a) The process of liberalization of trade and foreign exchange regime, (b) Sustained growth of exports and implications of membership of WTO and (c) Regional/ sub regional economic cooperation. The short-term adjustment problems of the highly protected domestic industry are real and should be dealt with. Preconditions of supply in the cost effective import competing and export sectors are to be created expeditiously.