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Figure 1.Trend of garment exports

6000

5000

Total RMG

4000

Million dollar

3000

Woven RMG

2000

1000

Knit RMG

0

Year

1983/84 1986/87 1989/90 1992/93 1995/96

1998/99

2001/02

Source: Bangladesh Economic Review, Ministory of Finance, various issues..

2.

Structure of, and Changes in, the Female Labour Market

These far-reaching economic sphere.

impacts on the garment industry are The RMG industry is a female

not confined to the dominant industry.

According to the accounted for 66.5

latest Census of Manufacturing percent of industry employment in

Industries 1999/2000

(CMI), females (Table 1). The

female concentration in the RMG industry average for manufacturing as a whole.

is

much

higher

than

the

35

percent

Although the RMG industry is generally considered to be a female-intensive industry, in the historical and cultural context of Bangladesh, the massive entry of female workers into the formal industrial sector was a totally new phenomenon and bore important social, cultural and political implications.

Historically, the labour market in Bangladesh, as in most other countries, has had two characteristics: segregation based on gender and segregation based on class.

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