From outside Bangladesh, the garments sector there is probably best known for low wages, poor working conditions and some horrific industrial accidents. But inside the country it’s driven industrial growth and social change. Over 4 million people work in the garments sector, and it has transformed the position of women in Bangladeshi society for better and worse. And it’s also changing the place of disabled people and their prospects for work.
When we looked for employers of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, we found that garments factories were often the most significant. International buyers played a role in starting this, but since then many factories have taken their own initiatives.
The German PSES project and Bangladeshi NGO CDD have done a nice job of making videos to show us what it looks like. See how employers’ perspectives are totally changed, and disabled people are getting a place in their families, community and the workplace.
We probably wouldn’t have expected to find examples of disability inclusion in a low-wage setting in a low-income setting. But these are examples we can all learn from, both within and outside Bangladesh.
I particularly like how the first video shows people using sign-language over video messages.