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Bangladesh is a Southeast Asian country located between Bengal (India) and Burma. The country declared independence from Pakistan in 1971. It has been one of the poorest countries of the world. The country straddles the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subjected to annual floods and cyclones.

Someone had the bright idea to locate garment factories there.

Bangladesh, once poor and irrelevant to the global economy, is now an export powerhouse, second only to China in global apparel exports, as factories churn out clothing for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Calvin Klein and H&M. Global retailers like Target and Walmart now operate sourcing offices in Dhaka, the capital. Garments are critical to Bangladesh’s economy, accounting for 80 percent of manufacturing exports and more than three million jobs.
New York Times 8/23/12

There aren't a lot of alternatives for Bangladeshi women who have to support themselves and their families. See Bangladesh human trafficking "Bangladesh has been placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year in the “2011 Trafficking in Persons Report” published by the US Government’s Department of State. Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking."

 However, despite all of this- and violent union suppression by the government-  Bangladeshi women are organizing, striking and demonstrating. Suggestions for supporting these women would be appreciated.

There is something really disgusting about the rich taking advantage of the misery of the poor.

Originally posted to la motocycliste on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Sexism and Patriarchy.

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