Claiming that the employment growth in Ready Made Garments (RMG) enterprises somewhat decelerated in recent years, Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Saturday said that the percentage of female workers in the enterprises is also declining, reports UNB.
CPD research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem came up with this information at a dialogue over his research work 'Ongoing Upgradation in RMG Enterprises: Preliminary Results from a Survey' arranged by CPD in a city hotel.
Moazzem conducted a research on 193 enterprises and 2270 workers and found it out that 47.37 per cent of large enterprises and 25 per cent of medium enterprises use advanced technology and female workers are proportionately less knowledgeable about operating different machines compared to their male peers which might be the reason behind the decrease of female workers in this sector.
The survey report shows that high level of gender-imbalance in the management profession has been continued as managers of the factories are overwhelmingly male.
Though the size of RMG enterprises, in terms of number of workers, has getting marginally bigger, overall gender balance among production workers in RMG enterprises has become less female dominated.
The report reveals that share of female employment in upper and middle grades are slowly rising in case of middle grades like grade III, IV and V, but female workers remain scant in top grades such as Grade I and II.
According to the survey results, difference between male and female wages is about 3 per cent which indicates gender-wage gap, though at limited level.
Though female workers in lower grades receive higher wages, those of middle grades are paid lower than their male counterparts on average.
As per the survey, workers' monthly wage is on average Tk 7,270 for male workers and Tk 7,058 for female workers excluding bonuses.
However, the speakers and participants of the dialogue identified lack of technology training and social security for female workers, the number is going down.
A representative from Bangladesh Mukto Sramik Federation said, female workers are now mostly preferred in production and finishing floor only in the factories, while the male workers are preferred for the other sections.
As the industry is now adopting heavy machinery, according to the research and speakers of the programme, this could be the reason behind the deceleration of female workers in the industry which has always been female dominated.