Besides the fact that women constitute the main driving force of the Bangladesh readymade garment industry (around 80 per cent of the total workforce), they still remain to be the most under-represented in all hourly wages.
As per the International Labour Organization’s Global Wage Report 2018-19, the ratio of representation of women to men in the country is around 1:3.
In the case of high-income countries, reduced participation of women in wage employment may be the consequence of motherhood status, whereas in middle- or low-income countries not being in wage employment may also be an indicator of participation in own-account work in the informal economy, according to the report.
Despite the disparity in terms of wage employment, Bangladesh has reportedly made significant progress towards reducing gender pay gap. The country is reportedly amongst a handful of nations where the pay gap is in favour of women. Against a global average of 15.6 percent in men’s favour, gender pay gap in Bangladesh is 5.5 per cent in women’s favour.
The report also underlined that in many low- and middle-income economies, wage inequality remains high and wages are frequently insufficient to cover the needs of workers and their families.