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Chapter 3

Globalisation and Female Employment in Bangladesh: Readymade Garment Workers in Post-MFA Era1

Mayumi Murayama

Introduction

Being connected with other parts of the world through the movement of capital, goods and people is nothing new for Bangladesh. In the pre-colonial period, Bengal, the eastern half of which constitutes the present Bangladesh, was once a centre of cotton textile and silk manufacturing. During the Mughal period, these products were exported to meet the demands of the Asian and European markets2.

Bengali people, meanwhile, went to Company officers and as sailors on

England as British ships

the servants of (Gardner 1995:

East 36).

India And

women were by period. While yarn during the

no means excluded from the influence of the globalisation of that women’s labour, in high demand for production of home spun eighteenth century, lost its value when textiles made in British

factories

began

to

flood

the

Indian

market

(Hossain,

Jahan

and

Sobhan

1990:

14-17), referred position

the rise of the export-oriented readymade garment industry (hereafter to as RMG industry) has given Bangladesh women a predominant in the economic and social space opened up by globalisation.

1 The sample survey of this research was financed by 2005 JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research provided for the project 'Globalization of Economy and Changes in Gender Regimes in Asia'

(Principal Investigator: Yamaguchi University). Yokota and other project

Professor I would members.

Nobuko Yokota, Faculty of like to express deep gratitude

Economics, to Professor

2 The export of raw silk and textile began to increase from the 1670s. In the exports to England, textiles constituted 70 or 80 percent followed by raw silk, saltpetre and opium (Chaudhuri, Sushil 1992a, 1992b).

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