Selected publications

Geopolitics of the Pandemic- The Bangladesh Scene

by FES Bangladesh Office

The corona pandemic has been transforming the global order, and Bangladesh is one of the players. There are lots of changes happening in geopolitics – e.g. global powers are weakened, new alliances are built, regionalism is getting more momentum, vaccines have become an issue of global politics, etc. In this situation, some critical questions such as where Bangladesh stands, how Bangladesh is managing the socio-economic and health loss, how effective are those policy and administrative initiatives to manage the crisis, which countries and actors are beside Bangladesh in this unprecedented situation, and why are they with Bangladesh – are circling on our mind. This paper by Prof Ali Riaz analyzes the context of Bangladesh and responds to those questions, and at the end, the author provides four alternatives in moving ahead in the post-corona global political environment: status quo, muddling through, revising the course, or a radical realignment.

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Tracking Media Coverage of Women Trade Union Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by FES Bangladesh Office

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the ready-made garment industry and on garment workers’ livelihoods. In the first two months after Bangladesh identified the first COVID-19 patient on 8 March 2020, US$3.16 billion worth of orders for 1,140 factories were cancelled, according to BGMEA. This media tracking study was conducted to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the ready-made garments industry. The media tracking followed coverage by print and online media on the situation of the ready-made garment sector during COVID-19, with special focus on female-led trade union activities. The tracking began on 15 March and ended on 15 August 2020.

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The Impact of COVID-induced Economic Crisis on Employment and Labour Market in Bangladesh

by FES Bangladesh Office

Like the rest of the world, Bangladesh has adopted measures to address the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led and continue to lead to an unprecedented economic crisis affecting employment and labour markets. While the lockdown measures imposed from March to May 2020 hit the economy hard, economic recovery took time.

The deep recession of the global economy is also having an adverse effect. There are already visible signs of the financial crisis's impact on employment and livelihoods. The combined health and economic crisis's adverse effects are being transmitted to the labour market through two broad channels: Domestic and external.

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Development of SMEs in Bangladesh: Lessons From The German Experience

by FES Bangladesh Office

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have long been globally recognized as engines of growth. In recent times, a growing emphasis on inclusive development has drawn further impetus on SME development since SMEs' growth contributes to GDP growth, employment creation, poverty alleviation, and vertical and horizontal expansion of firms. These SME enterprises are very dynamic and can adjust better with the changes.

In Germany, 99.4% of the enterprises are micro, small and medium enterprises. It accounts for 63% of all employment and contributes to over 54% to value addition. In emerging economies, SMEs contribute up to 45% of total employment and 33% of GDP. Over 98% of the enterprises are SMEs in Bangladesh. More than 84% of rural non-farm employment was generated through cottage and micro-enterprises in 2013.

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A Guide to Ensuring Gender Equality for Women Workers in Trade Unions in Bangladesh

by FES Bangladesh Office

Bangladesh has seen a significant increase in women’s participation in the workforce in recent years. According to the International Labour Organization, it increased by 35 percent between 2008 and 2017, while male employment increased by only 11 percent. However, women still face many barriers in the job market. One important issue is their limited participation in trade unions. Although the potential to improve the situation for women is huge, women are still severely underrepresented - on average only 6.3% of trade union members are women. The purpose of this report is therefore to look into women’s participation in trade unions and the issues they face as well as how women’s roles in trade unions can be strengthened.

 

The report has been written by:
Farzana Nawaz – Consultant at Laudes Foundation
Tania Haque – Associate Professor at Dhaka University

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The Crisis in the World of Work in view of COVID-19

Authors: Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Tamim Ahmed, A S M Shamim Alam Shibly, Taslima Taznur

by FES Bangladesh Office

The 7th Anniversary of Rana Plaza tragedy (24 April 2020) was observed in a completely different context in Bangladesh – particularly with regard to the world of work. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shutdown of all kinds of economic activities in the country since late March 2020 which severely affected businesses, employment, workers’ wages and earnings, occupational safety and health (OSH) and workers’ rights. The country’s world of work would be affected further in the coming days in view of the grim outlook on the economy for the rest of the period of 2020 and partly for 2021.

 

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Feminist Perspectives on the Future of Work in Bangladesh

Fahana Nawaz (October 2019)

by itcreate

Over the last few years, despite economic growth and declining poverty levels in Asia, inequality has continued to grow with large groups of society becoming marginalised, not least women. In Bangladesh, despite significant progress on women’s rights in recent years, women still compose a far smaller share of the labour force, and continue to face structural societal challenges towards education, higher level jobs and better work conditions.  In addition, automation within the ready-made garment sector as well as the agricultural sector presents a big risk for women’s labour participation. Upcoming sectors, such as within Information and Communication Technology, risks limiting women’s access to the labour market even further.

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Employment, Labour Force Participation and Education: Towards Gender Equality in Bangladesh

By Rushidan I Rahman, PHD and Rizwanul Islam, PHD

by FES Bangladesh Office

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Bangladesh and Centre for Development and Employment Research are proud to present our new study "Employment, Labour Force Participation and Education: Towards Gender Equality in Bangladesh". The authors, Rushidan I Rahman, PHD and Rizwanul Islam, have conducted a quantitative study on the role of women and their possibilities in the labour force in the fast developing economy of Bangladesh. Based on the results, they have made a number of policy recommendations on how to reduce gender inequality in the country.

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Graduating LDCs in an Evolving WTO: Options and Strategies

By Professor Mustafizur Rahman and Dr. Debapriya Bhattarcharya (June 2019)

by itcreate

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh and Centre for Policy Dialogue are proud of presenting a newly published study titled “Graduating LDCs in an Evolving WTO: Options and Strategies”. The authors analyse recent developments and reform initiatives in the WTO from the perspectives of "graduating LDCs" and made suggestions on how the WTO can safeguard their trade interests in the course of losing their LDC status. FES Geneva Office will launch the study in the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, October 2019.

Stay tuned for updates after the launch! 

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Livelihood Challenges of RMG Workers - Exploring Scopes within the Structure of Minimum Wages and Beyond

By Khondaker Golam Moazzem and Md. Arfanuzzaman (December 2018)

by itcreate

This paper examines the livelihood issues of the workers in the readymade garments (RMG) sector of Bangladesh, and identifies the scope of determining a minimum wage that would address their requirements of a decent livelihood standard. The study observes a compositional change in workers’ household expenditure patterns, where non-food expenses have taken up the larger share. Workers of all grades were found struggling to meet their essential needs, which indirectly implies that their earnings are inadequate for spending beyond the subsistence level.

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