জোহরা ফেরদৌসী's picture
Submitted by Zohra Ferdousy on Sat, 27/04/2013 - 9:03pm

Bangladesh, a small, beautiful country, is located in South Asia. An area of 147,570 sq. km. is home of 160 million people. It has very little natural resources. However, the hard working people are the biggest resource of the country. Women’s participation and contribution to the economy in Bangladesh is outstanding in the region.

Garments industry in Bangladesh is considered one of the leading in the world. Women constitute the majority of the work force in the sector. Currently, four million women work in this sector in total. Most of them work in a very substandard work condition. Extremely low wage (on average US$38 per month), unsafe work place, lack of health and other benefits, long working hours, no trade union- are only the tip of the iceberg. Yet, these women love their job because otherwise they would not have any job. Every morning these poor women named Jarina, Amena, Rehana, Sakhina walk on the street in the major cities with a lunch box in their hand. It is like an army marching on our street, except they are not well-fed, well- dressed, well-taken- care-off. They sew the best quality dresses for the top brands all over the world, yet they wear the cheapest one of all. You will see the same pair of cheap sandals on their feet year after year. Every day, you will see the army of poor garments worker march on our street twice: in the wee hours of the day to the factory and evening to home. Their march makes dust on our cities twice a day.

The army of these women never raise their voices. They are the most active, contributing but most vulnerable of us. In 2011-2012 only, these women contributed to the export revenue of US $19 billion from the Ready Made Garment sector, accounting for 78% of the total national export (BGMEA). Garments industry owners are taking advantage of the situation. They are sucking money at the cost of these women’s sweat, blood, and lives. Accidents after accidents are testifying the fact that these garments industry owner do not care about the well-being of these women.

We, the Bangladeshi people, cannot tolerate this anymore. While we want the industry to grow, earn foreign exchange, we want to make sure these women have a safe working place of international standard, a fair wage, a package for treatment, rehabilitation, and compensation for any work place accidents, and the rights to express themselves. We demand the Government of Bangladesh to prosecute the culprits who are responsible for the building collapse in Savar on April 24th, and provide the compensation to the families who have lost their loved ones, and bear the cost for treatment and rehabilitation for the injured employees. At the same time, we demand the regular monitoring of the building safety of all garments factory in Bangladesh. We demand the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to be held responsible if any of its members is found guilty of any wrong doing. We want to warn the Government of Bangladesh and the BGMEA that in the case of overlooking our demands, we will remain committed to the cause, and start making the international organizations (The United Nations, The Human Rights Watch, etc.) aware about the issue.

Our friends outside of Bangladesh: please note that we are striving for a better working condition for our garments worker. Withdrawing the ready-made garments orders from Bangladesh will not help these women. Rather, please engage yourself to ensure a SAFE, JUST and FAIR work place for these women. Take every opportunity to demand your local politicians, policy makers to make aware about this issue. Demand all local garments and apparel companies for transparent compliance of the international work place safety standard and fair employment condition for their orders in Bangladesh.

YOU can play an instrumental role in this effort to bring JUSTICE for these vulnerable women.

Please sign and share the petition below. Please raise your voice. Be the VOICE of the VOICELESS.

Put an end to deaths and sweatshops; ensure Routine Health and Safety Reports for Garment Factories in Bangladesh



News Links from BBC, the New York Times and CBC:


স্যাম's picture

photo: Taslima Akhter

জোহরা ফেরদৌসী's picture

Thank you, Sam. I will put the photo credit right away.

জয় হোক মানবতার ।। জয় হোক জাগ্রত জনতার

মাহবুব লীলেন's picture

ছবিটা বাদ দিলে হয় না? ছবিটার লিংক দিয়ে দেন

জোহরা ফেরদৌসী's picture

ছবি বাদ দিলাম, লীলেন দা।

জয় হোক মানবতার ।। জয় হোক জাগ্রত জনতার

মইনুল আজিজ's picture

বিজিএমএ বস্তুত কারখানা ও কারখানার মালিকের স্বার্থরক্ষার জন্য প্রতিষ্ঠিত। তাদের পরিচয়ে এমন কিছু নেই যেখানে কর্মীর অধিকার বা তাদের স্বার্থের বিষয়টি গুরুত্ব পেয়েছে। অর্থাৎ দেশে ট্রেড ইউনিয়ন কার্যকর না থাকলেও তাদের জন্য অসম এক প্রতিপক্ষ প্রতিষ্ঠিত হয়েছে বহু আগেই।

জোহরা ফেরদৌসী's picture

BGMEA এর মতো প্রতিষ্ঠানের কাছে কিছু প্রত্যাশা করি না। সরকার, প্রশাসন, রাজনৈতিক দল...কোথায় যাব আমরা? শেষতক জনতার সংগ্রাম জনতাকেই করতে হবে।

জয় হোক মানবতার ।। জয় হোক জাগ্রত জনতার

আব্দুল গাফফার রনি's picture

বিজিএমএ, রাজউক--এদেরও বিচারের আওতায় আনা উচিত।

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অতিথি লেখক's picture

We must stand beside them to ensure SAFE, JUST and FAIR workplace, as you have rightly pointed out!

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