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TUC Aid: Supporting the empowerment of women trade union leaders in the Bangladesh garment industry

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Research and reports
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A TUC Aid project, in partnership with NGWF, is supporting training for woman leaders within the union to develop knowledge on labour law, grievance resolution and collective bargaining and to develop their skills and confidence as union negotiators.

The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) is one of the largest trade union federation of garment workers in Bangladesh. The Federation has around 68,000 members, of which 60% are women. Women are the most vulnerable group at the workplace, and their problems are exacerbated by an historic lack of engagement with the union and therefore a general lack of knowledge of labour law, grievance handling and collective bargaining. Due to the lack of women in leadership positions in the Bangladesh trade unions, issues like harassment, occupational health and safety and gender discrimination are not being addressed properly.

TUC is supporting the empowerment of woman trade union leaders and activists through training on key issues. 3F, a Danish union, is guiding and technically supporting NGWF for better planning and implementation of the program.

An interim evaluation has shown that this training (the first attempt to change focus from short sessions which have proved inefficient to a more in-depth training of potential leaders) has been broadly successful. The participants have shown great progress and the fact that the same group is being trained over a longer period of time (2-3 months) creates a network among the participants which will be an asset for the organisation and the individual participants in the future work. The new training model is now being copied by other trade unions.

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