Financial independence still eludes female garment workers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 14, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:21 AM, July 14, 2020

Financial independence still eludes female garment workers

Finds survey by Sanem, MFO

Female workers are more likely than their male counterparts to make financial decisions in consultation with other family or household members, found a recent survey.

The survey, which was conducted by the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) in partnership with Microfinance Opportunities (MFO), comprised 14 weeks of interviews with 1,367 garment workers in Chittagong, Dhaka City, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Savar.

More than three-quarters of the working respondents are women.

The survey was conducted to assess the impact of the ongoing Pandemic on the overall working and living conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh, according to a statement from SANEM yesterday.

It looked into aspects of salary management, expenditure, savings and education decisions.

Of the respondents, 44 per cent said they managed their salaries on their own. Of them, 39 per cent of the women compared with 62 per cent of men reported that they decide how to spend their salaries.

Some 36 per cent of the garment workers reported that they shared decision-making responsibilities.

Of them, 39 per cent were women.

Some 14 per cent of the garment workers said they take what they need and hand over the rest, while 6 per cent said they handed over their salaries to someone else to decide what to do with their sum.

Additionally, only 6 per cent of garment workers reported that the decision-maker had changed since the beginning of April.

When asked who makes the decisions on savings, 35 per cent of the garment workers reported that they do it themselves. Women were less likely to report that they make savings decisions on their own, at 30 per cent compared with 49 per cent for men.

As many as 55 per cent of the garment workers reported that savings decisions are made with the entire family. Of them, 59 per cent were women.

 

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