ITUC // Trade Union Development Projects Directory

For trade unions, development cooperation is a part of our commitment to fight poverty, promote sustainable social development and improve working and living conditions for all.


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Women Garment Workers Leadership Development Programme

duration: 7 months (From 1 October 2014 to 30 April 2015)
budget: 18,800 EUR

The project will seek to address the following issues.
• Frequent harassment of women workers in factories
• Widespread hostility of factory managers in garment sector towards trade unions – cases of violence against trade unions are common
• Lack of female union members with the confidence and skills to negotiate with management on issues around harassment, OHS, wages, hours etc
• Lack of women in leadership positions in Bangladesh trade unions
• Very low union density in garment sector – only 1.6% according to the ILO
• Labour law in Bangladesh requires 30% of factory to be union members to be granted legal recognition – this requires unions to have effective organising at factory level

Development of knowledge and skills of women garment workers in Bangladesh for leadership roles in unions

Type of activities
Training and education activities

Expected outcomes
Increased awareness amongst new trade union members of their employment rights and the role of trade unions in defending them and how they can play an active role in the union as organisers
Development of confidence amongst new female trade union members to play a more active role in their union as members and hopefully later as reps and organisers
• Development of confidence amongst members to raise issues with management
• Improved capacity to address issues on harassment, OHS issues and pay and conditions.
• Increased participation in OHS committees established by new Labour law in Bangladesh - in factories covered by the Bangladesh Accord.


Bandula Kothalawala
[email protected]