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Chains of Fortune

Linking Women Producers and Workers with Global Markets

image of Chains of Fortune
Globalisation opens up new economic opportunities if poor women producers and workers are enabled to take advantage of them. The need for assistance differs between independent producers on the one hand and wage workers in export industries on the other. In the former case, the need mainly is for increased access to global markets. In the latter case, the need mainly is for better organising so as to bargain for better wages and working conditions.



This edited volume brings together six case studies. Three link local producers with global markets: a cocoa cooperative in Ghana; an organic coconut oil producer in Samoa; and small enterprises in Mozambique. Three focus on improving the working conditions of wage workers in global value chains: those in the fruit exporting industry in South Africa; those in the garment export industry in Bangladesh; and those in the newly created call centres in India.



Each case study is written by a team of international and national researchers and aims to present decision makers with concrete examples which can spread the gains of globalisation to the working poor through shifting the balance of access, power and returns within global value chains.

English

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Rags, Riches and Women Workers: Export-oriented Garment Manufacturing in Bangladesh

This chapter is concerned with women working in the export-oriented readymade garment industry in Bangladesh. Although the majority of these women are located in what is officially classified as ‘the formal economy’, the nature of their contracts and their terms and conditions are more typical of work in the informal economy. Their situation illustrates the point made by a number of authors that the relationship between the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ economy in much of the world, particularly the developing world, is a continuum rather than a dichotomy.

English

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