In Bangladesh, women garment workers gain confidence, promotions and better futures
Lata Banu could not finish school because her parents could not afford it. When her elder sister got married and moved to Dhaka, she went along and then joined Babylon Garments Limited as a quality control officer. But Ms. Banu had big dreams.
"Society looks down upon people who work in the ready-made garment industry, but I proved them wrong," she said. "I worked hard and got a promotion, and now I am the Quality Control Supervisor. Many times, people think girls can't do anything, but I did what I wanted, and excelled in it."
Ms. Banu's colleague at the factory, Halima Khatun, was also promoted to become a supervisor in the operations department.
"I always wanted to grow, I did not want to limit myself," she said. "I wanted to show that women can do everything that a man can do. I wanted to prove my talent, so I went out of my given responsibilities and worked further. Today, I am a supervisor."
The two young women can look forward to better lives thanks to their own resoluteness, and to a pilot project funded by Benetton Group, a global fashion brand. The project is carried out by UN Women and CARE at Babylon Garments Limited and another factory in the Dhaka area, MG Niche Stich Limited.
The project was designed to help women get into positions of decision-making, not only at home and in the community but at the workplace as well. The two agencies have provided 200 workers with training to increase their productivity and soft skills such as communication, negotiation and leadership that will help their career advancement. Fifty workers who demonstrated leadership potential were chosen for training on advanced life skills including supervisory skills.
Read the full story on UN Women's regional website for Asia and the Pacific.