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When ID Works for Women: On Garment Factory Workers and ID in Bangladesh

– Caribou Digital

In this blog post on Medium, Caribou Digital UK researchers Savita Bailur and Hélène Smertnik outline recent research findings on the importance of having a valid ID in the Bangladeshi garment industry, and the consequences arising from being without one

Bailur and Smertnik share stories of several women they met during their research in Bangladesh and the women’s experiences of having - or not having - an ID.

This included Asma and Moshumi, who signed garment factory contracts based on their access to their national IDs.

The blog post also reviews other findings of their research in the Bangladeshi garment industry. For example, having an ID can mean access to “better” or “formal” work, but workarounds are still common as ID standards are developed and agreed.

The authors also reveal suggested impacts on financial inclusion and gender equality as a result of, or lack of, formal identification.

Having an ID is not always a prerequisite for garment factory employment. However, employees seem to prefer this, when they realise ID will protect them.

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