GAATW study exposes rights violations of Bangladeshi female apparel workers in Jordan

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan | Published: 01:07, Oct 25,2019


In Jordan, women apparel workers of Bangladesh are forced to work in adverse conditions that adversely affect their physical and psychological health, according to a recent study done by Bangkok based Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, better known as GAATW.

According to findings, that in Jordan, the women apparel workers faced a distinct pattern of gender and ethnicity based discriminations at their workplaces.

Bangladeshi women migrant workers frequently faced harsh verbal abuse, showing  disrespect to their character and the country of their origin by their supervisors.

The results of this stress caused insomnia, constant headache, palpitations and intense fear psychosis.

One of the workers said, ‘I don’t want to get up in the morning and go to work. I wish I would never have to wake up again, ’ Another worker said, ‘I feel worthless. I don’t deserve all this abuse and discriminations.’

Many of the victims experience health issues, but their health concerns are often disregarded by the employers. Workers were discouraged to seek treatment, and when they did, treatment was superficial and geared to send them back to work as soon as possible, which often exacerbated their conditions.

The research showed that in Jordan, woman migrants were routinely exposed to sexual harassment and even physical assaults by male supervisors at factories.

All respondents reported that there were fewer chances for Bangladeshis to earn promotions compared to workers of other nationalities.

The research showed that migrant workers had to spend additional resources to meet their personal needs, including food that made it difficult to make ends meet.

They were paid less wages compared to the workers from the other countries.

In dormitories, eight to 12 workers have to share one room and one bathroom is shared by 15 workers.

Complaints about inadequate heating system and water supply were widespread.

Bangladesh Overseas Employment Services Limited, a state owned recruiting agency sent 25,000 female apparel workers to Jordan.

Every year up to 9000 female apparel workers of Bangladesh migrate to Jordan, said BOESL general manager for overseas employment Salim Mollah.

The study recommended to the employers to ensure that standard working hours, break times and off days.

The buyers should review their relationship with factories, taking into account their production processes and capacities and sustainable production to ensure that they safeguard workers’ rights.

The Bangladesh government should improve information dissemination about migration.

The government of Jordan was advised to allow promote freedom of association for migrant workers by ratifying ILO Convention 87, to facilitate their effective self-organizing in each factory.

The research, ‘I wish I would never have to wake up again: Material conditions and psychological well-being of Bangladeshi women garment workers in Jordan, ’ was done  from May 2018 to May 2019.

On Tuesday, GAATW International Coordinator Bandana Pattanaik distributed the study report at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban.

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