A very noticeable feature of economic development in many Asian countries has been the growing employment of young women in industry. Whereas much has been written about the exploitation of the workers, and this is often related to the wider debates about the links between gender relations and globalisation, there has been relatively little analysis of the ways in which women resist exploitation through collective action, creating organisations, and networking. All these strategies enable women workers to cope with ongoing change, and sometimes to reshape gender power relations. This article analyses collective action, organisation-building, and women’s leadership in the garment sector in Bangladesh, where women have rapidly entered a highly visible form of employment.
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