string(61) ‘ group is subjected to the volatilities of the global economy\. ‘
Can certainly Empowerment Revisited: From Specific to Communautaire Power among the Export Sector Workers of Bangladesh Naomi Hossain 03 2012 IDS WORKING CONVENTIONAL PAPER Volume 2012 No 389 2 The Poverty and Inequality exploration cluster, area of the Vulnerability and Poverty Decrease team by IDS, generates research upon poverty, inequality and wellness. Our research challenges orthodox views on the nature of poverty, just how poverty is understood and just how policy can best speed up poverty reduction. Our work focuses on poverty and wellbeing through the lens of equity and inequality.
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Naomi Hossain1 Synopsis Bangladesh has become known as anything of a achievement in advancing gender equal rights since the 1990s. There have been speedy gains in a number of social and economic domains, yet by simply most objective standards the current condition and status of women and women within Bangladeshi society stay low. Rapid progress comes about underneath conditions of mass lower income and interlocking forms of sociable disadvantage, politics instability and underdevelopment, overlain with prolonged ‘classic’ varieties of patriarchy.
Mass employment of ladies and women in the country’s flagship foreign trade sector ” the readymade garments (RMG) sector ” has been one of the more visible and prominent changes in women’s lives since its late 1970s’ intro. Whether plus the extent that RMG or perhaps garments employment has changed the lives of women workers for the best has been the subject matter of much debate, and the analysis and examination it has made offers useful insights in the processes of economic and social personal strength for poor women in low income developing countries.
Yet because this newspaper notes, close observers of social enhancements made on Bangladesh are getting to be dissatisfied with all the limits of any focus on individual economic empowerment. Paid function may allow some women to negotiate the ‘structures of constraint’ that shape their lives and associations, but what with the structures of constraint themselves? In the Bangladesh context the experience of mass RMG employment has given rise to inquiries about if women include gained increased recognition as citizens with rights and roles while carers in the private and political stars within the public spheres.
Revisiting the question of women’s personal strength in this circumstance means interrogating whether paid out employment offers contributed to investments in the education and skills of women and girls, improvements within their public protection and rights to sit on public space. Given work militancy inside the sector as well as its partial success in raising the lowest wage, what has the experience of labour politics meant for women’s political empowerment? Drawing generally on the abundant literature available on women’s RMG employment, this paper explores the larger and less extensively researched effects of this kind of employment upon public coverage relating to gender equality in these areas.
This concludes the fact that overall course of difference in the industry points plainly to the requirement of investments in staff member productivity, using a host of implications pertaining to women’s work and sexuality equality more broadly. Stock owners need to date shown few signs of recognising their particular interests in supporting better state overall health, education and public protection for women and girls, or perhaps changing supervision practices to maintain and raise productivity of skilled ladies workers.
Yet with downwards pressure upon wages more and more effectively resisted by personnel at a time of global economic unpredictability and rising living costs, the tide may certainly be turning for the RMG workers of Bangladesh. Production gains need the state and the industry to take care of women workers as complete citizens with public procedures that showcase their abilities and security and respect, and which will guarantee the representation of their rights and demands.
RMG job continues to be a source of personal strength for women in Bangladesh, nevertheless social and economic modify means that that power now depends less on the person economic effects of paid focus on household decision-making than that once do. RMG employment is increasingly a supply of power for ladies because of its even more collective effects on ladies citizenship and political agency. This issues all the more because of how this kind of group can be exposed to the volatilities from the global economy.
You examine ‘Women’s Empowerment Revisited: From Individual to Collective’ in category ‘Essay examples’ you Research Other, Participation, Power and Sociable Change Group, Institute of Development Research. 4 Contents
Summary three or more Acknowledgements and Disclaimer five 1 Launch: the state of ladies empowerment in Bangladesh six 1 . one particular The idea of success 6 1 . 2 Interpersonal indicators six 1 . a few Economic contribution 8 1 . 4 Personal participation and security twelve 1 . your five Changing contemporary society in the post-conflict era 11 1 . 6th Empowerment revisited 13 a couple of The RMG sector 18 2 . you The economic significance of the RMG sector 15 installment payments on your 2 The political significance of the RMG sector 12-15 3 Girls as RMG workers 17 3. 1 Hard work 18 3. a couple of Workers’ experience of monetary and sociable empowerment through garments work 21 3. 3 Could wages and male electricity 23 The wider effects of RMG career 24 4. 1 The impact on gents attitudes twenty four 4. 2 RMG employment and the enlargement of standard education for ladies 25 5. 3 Ladies mobility as well as the feminisation of public space 27 4. 4 Nationality and politics empowerment 28 5 Findings 30 Annex 31 Recommendations 33 Desks Table 1 . 1 Picked changes in Bangladeshi women’s health insurance and education several Table 1 . 2 Years of education in the labour force by quintile 2000″5 on the lookout for Table 3. 1 Gender division of RMG jobs (% of workers) 19 Desk 3. two Workers’ information of happenings that play a role in insecurity (% of workers) 20
Numbers Figure 1 ) 1 Time force contribution rates for young or old, 1999″2000 and 2005″6 almost 8 Figure 1 . 2 Percentage of chairs held by women in national parliament, 1990″2009 twelve 5 Acknowledgements The author can be grateful to Carolina Sanchez-Paramo and Sudhir Shetty worldwide Development Survey Team pertaining to comments around the first draft, Samer Al-Samarrai for information into the concern of education and expertise, and co-workers at BRAC Development Institute, in particular Ferdous Jahan, Sohela Nazneen and Mamunur Rashid for work jointly on women’s empowerment (Nazneen ou al. 010, 2011) and on the effects of the meals, fuel and financial crisis (Hossain et approach. 2009, Hossain et al. 2010). The effort with BDI colleagues provides generated most of the insights in the wider circumstance of ladies empowerment, and the recent global economic shock experienced by garments employees discussed with this paper. Valuable comments were also received coming from colleagues at the Dhaka Community Bank business office. The author is very grateful to Sohela Nazneen for her observations and familiarity with relevant the latest literature and public awareness of garments workers. Disclaimer
While a version on this paper was originally prepared as a backdrop paper pertaining to the World Advancement Report 2012 on Gender Equality and Development, it will not reflect the views worldwide Bank. Every errors and omissions are those of mcdougal alone. A youthful version has been published since: ‘Exports, Collateral, and Empowerment: The Effects Of Readymade Garments Developing Employment Upon Gender Equal rights In Bangladesh’, http://siteresources. worldbank. org/INTWDR2012/Resources/7778105- 1299699968583/7786210-1322671773271/Hossain-Export-Equity-employment. df 6 1 Advantages: the state of ladies empowerment in Bangladesh This kind of paper is going to try to measure the effects of RMG employment upon women’s personal strength in Bangladesh. To do so, it will eventually start by setting out evidence of difference in women’s comes from Bangladesh, and also of parts of persistent downside and domination. It will present some viewpoints on what these alterations mean, and in so performing set out a few markers for the future direction of research of ladies empowerment in this setting. 1 ) 1 The idea of success
Bangladesh has come to be seen as a achievement in promoting sexuality equality lately. A recent research summarised this as follows: Bangladesh stands out as the glowing new case in South Asia of a poor region achieving remarkable gains in gender equal rights , a country that had been once written off by Henry Kissinger as a ‘basket circumstance, ‘ which in turn now dwarfs India and Pakistan in numerous areas. Among 1971 and 2004, Bangladesh halved its fertility costs. In most of the country today, girls’ secondary school presence exceeds those of boys. The gender distance in toddler mortality continues to be closed.
The micro-credit wave continues to boost women’s unification groups and earning potential, and great numbers of fresh women are leaving their very own villages to work in dress factories exactly where, in previously generations, fresh women were rarely noticed outside all their homes. (World Bank 2008a: 3) Additional donor files similarly be aware ‘first generation’ achievements towards gender equal rights, typically with regards to gender parity in fundamental education, Bangladesh’s ‘pioneering’ position in micro-credit, and formal sector employment of two million fresh women inside the readymade garments (RMG) industry (Nazneen et al. 011). The official watch is a average version of the same. The Government’s recent Nationwide Strategy for Lower income Reduction file noted that ‘[w]omen in Bangladesh make important profits along with changes in sociable attitudes toward women’s economical participation’ (Government of Bangladesh 2009a: 3): [M]easurable improvement in can certainly advancement and rights in many areas including education, engagement in work force, health and nutrition, and participation in public places services.
In the area of women’s growth and rights, the government made strong obligations and taken on various pursuits to reduce the gap between men and women. (Government of Bangladesh 2009a: 62) The idea of effective progress to gender equality could be examine as a discuss the gloomy, bleak, discouraging context through which these fast changes took place, characterised by persistent mass, extreme and interlocking forms of lower income and drawback (Sen and Hulme several 006), politics instability and weak governance (IGS 2006, 2008), and chronic ‘classic’ varieties of patriarchy. a couple of The idea of accomplishment chimes at some level with perspectives from the can certainly movement. Intended for the could movement, progress in the present era is slower compared to the 1990s’ ‘golden age’ of democratic change (Nazneen and Sultan 2010: 70). There are also signs that advances could be reversed, as well as the growing influence of old-fashioned versions of Islam about national politics and society will be cited (ibid.. The feeling in the could movement is somewhat more cautious, having itself emerged out of the two-part national problems for freedom, the can certainly movement has a healthy value for the possibilities of alter through mobilisation and communautaire action, and extensive experience of negotiating tricky political landscape. So the feminist struggle proceeds. 1 . two Social symptoms What is the substance on this success, and what are the challenges?
This season, Bangladesh rated 116th in the Gender Inequality Index with the UNDP’s Man Development Index, below Pakistan’s 112, however above India’s 122 (UNDP 2010), also within Southern Asia, then simply, it is not obvious that Bangladesh has very much to celebrate with regards to the levels of gender equality (nor, certainly, Pakistan or India). Yet the pace of change merits attention: increases for Bangladeshi women were made from a lower starting point, and caught up fast given the modest speed of poverty reduction, especially in the nineties.
Table one particular summarises crucial changes in health insurance and education signals over the last three decades. Table 1 . 1 Picked changes in Bangladeshi women’s health and education Indicator Outcome Male fertility Total male fertility rate rejected from 7. 3 (1974) to installment payments on your 7 (2007) 1 Mother’s mortality Mother’s mortality rate (maternal deaths per 100, 000 live births) much more than halved coming from 648 (1986) to 315 (2001) two Basic education Gender parity in major and extra enrolment attained by early 2000s, girls today outnumber boys3 Sources: NIPORT (2009) 2 World Lender (2007) three or more Chowdhury et al. (2002) The most dazzling changes have been seen with respect to girls’ education. Bangladesh shut the sexuality gap in enrolment by primary right at the end of the 1990s, ahead of the MDG targets and many comparator countries (Chowdhury et al. 2002). More women than young boys now start in extra school, used substantial component, it is thought, by the accessibility to cash stipends for all unmarried girls who attend and perform to a minimum level (Al-Samarrai 2009).
Yet while Bangladesh has done well compared to additional countries in widening girls’ access to university, quality and attainment pertaining to boys and girls happen to be absolutely low and the seal of the sexuality gap in basic education may indicate stagnating educational access among the list of ‘boys kept behind’ (World Bank 2008a, Shafiq 2009, Tariquzzaman and Hossain 2009). After the rapid progress of the 1990s, Bangladesh’s more recent MDG performance has become disappointingly normal. Kandiyoti’s (1988) term pertains in the Bangladesh context into a society characterized by ‘patrilineal principles of descent, patriarchal structures of family firm, the practice of woman seclusion, and a designated preference pertaining to sons above daughters’ (Kabeer 2004: 14). 8 1 . 3 Financial participation Patterns of can certainly economic involvement have altered fast. Ladies labour force participation rate grew faster than those of men inside the 1984″2000 period (Rahman 2005), yet remained comparatively low at twenty two. 8 per cent in 2k (25. in urban areas). However , women’s wage career increased considerably after that, growing at 5. 3 percent each year between 2000 and 2005 (World Bank 2008b, see also Figure 1). Figure1. 1 Labour power participation rates for men and women, 1999″2000 and 2005″6 Source: Time Force Review 1999″2000, 2005″06 (BBS 2002, 2008) With regards to girls’ improved access to education it is well worth noting that official figures suggest that work force engagement rates pertaining to younger women (aged 12-15 to early 20s) basically declined during the early 2000s.
This shows that more women with this age group were entering education in preference to early on entry in to the low-skill end of the labor force. This would be consistent with the finding that the gender wage gap narrowed at the upper end in the first half of the 2000s, because higher educated women gained access to job (particularly in the public sector, Al-Samarrai 2007). The reducing of the gender wage difference reversed the pattern of change over the second half of the 1990s, when the share of women’s formal sector career shrank coming from 20. (1995″96) to 8. on the lookout for (1999″2000) per cent (Rahman 2005). The result of this kind of shift have been that ladies wages elevated much faster than men’s over the first half of the 2000s, and the gender difference in salary and salary narrowed significantly, particularly at the upper end of the career hierarchy (Al-Samarrai 2007). This was substantially related to the changing composition at the very top end from the female time force: of the richest twenty per cent of ladies, 58 per cent had been in salaried operate (e.., experienced public sector employment) and 26 % self-employed in agriculture in 2000, these kinds of proportions changed to 76 % in salaried work and later 3 percent selfemployed in agriculture in 2005 (Al-Samarrai 2007). In a nutshell, there are not simply more women in paid work in Bangladesh than previously, they are also significantly concentrated in formal sector employment. being unfaithful A critical take into account the narrowing of the gender wage space appears to have been gains in education (see stand 2).
However , as new real income and cash flow gains for women have been concentrated among the more educated and typically even more affluent inhabitants, there will have been completely more limited impacts intended for poor girls. And inspite of these profits for women who have succeeded in catching program men educationally, on average, females continue to generate 21 % less per hour than guys (Kapsos 2008). A considerable proportion of the male or female wage space remains the result of simple splendour, as well as by labour industry segmentation that excludes girls from better-paid occupations (Ahmed and Maitra 2010, Kapsos 2008).
Stand 1 . 2 Years of education in the work force simply by quintile 2000″5 quintile 2000 2005 men Female total male girl total 1 1 . 6 0. 6 1 . 4 2 . zero 1 . some 1 . on the lookout for 2 2 . 2 1 . 2 installment payments on your 1 2 . 7 1 . 5 2 . 6 3 3. 0 1 . six 2 . being unfaithful 3. six 3. one particular 3. six 4 4. 5 a few. 4 4. 4 5. 3 5. 7 your five. 3 5 7. several 6. eight 7. six 8. six 8. 4 8. 5 Total several. 9 installment payments on your 7 3. 8 4. 6 four. 0 four. 5 Source: Al-Samarrai (2007) based on HIES data A few 60 % of the increase in women’s paid out work throughout the 2000s was concentrated in urban areas, half overall in manufacturing sectors.
More than two million women will be estimated to use in the RMG industry, which in turn dominates the Bangladesh production export sector. Given that clothing factory careers may be brief, many more than the current two million females are likely to have noticed factory job over their very own lifetimes, in order that the social associated with RMG job are likely to have already been more widely distributed across the inhabitants than the two million determine suggests.
There’s also been significant recent growth in public sector employment since teachers or perhaps health workers, and in self-employment and home enterprises, generally in response to public policy measures to recruit girls in order to better advance sexuality equality goals in the social sectors (health, education, male fertility control and poverty reduction). An older, much-debated pathway of women’s financial empowerment have been microcredit, in which the scale of Bangladeshi could collective engagement has been unmatched.
Micro-finance programmes for women expanded fast from your second half of the 1990s, by 2006, it was estimated that there were a few 16. 5 million micro-credit borrowers in Bangladesh, the overwhelming majority of them females, the Government of Bangladesh is itself a significant source of low cost financing for micro-credit associated with credit programs (World Lender, 2006). Discussions about the impacts of micro-credit upon women’s empowerment have rehearsed themes about control over solutions and the results on women’s domestic negotiating power (Goetz and Sen Gupta 1996, Kabeer 1999).
Despite long lasting scholarly scepticism about some great benefits of micro-finance, it features plainly in domestic development debates as a strategy for addressing weakness and lower income. Evidence is available to show a variety of empowering effects, which includes that participation in micro-finance programmes allowed discussion of relatives planning with spouses, an expanded part in home decision making, even more access to ‘financial, economic, and social resources’ and greater mobility (World Bank 2006: 24).
Regarding intra-household relationships and women’s economic personal strength, the 2007 Demographic and Health Review found that even though fewer ladies reported making decisions about the use of all their income exclusively 10 as compared to 2004 (from 39 to 31 every cent), the proportion of ladies claiming engagement in joint decision making acquired risen, from 47 to 56 percent (NIPORT, 2009). There are some reasons to believe the fact that economic functions within Bangladeshi gender relations have experienced a tremendous shift, and that micro-credit has played an element in that.
Most recent concerns about possible industry saturation and serial indebtedness have moved attention to the challenge of excessive, as opposed to not enough, access to financial. 1 . 4 Political involvement and security In contrast to their particular striking increases in individual development and new economic opportunities, and despite the two top politics leaders both being ladies, Bangladeshi women have fared far less well with respect to all their political participation at the center than women in comparator countries (see figure 2).
Figure 1 . 2 Percentage of chairs held by women in national parliament, 1990″2009 Source: UNSTATS EL Millennium Creation Goals Indications (http://mdgs. el. org/unsd/mdg/Default. aspx) The supply of arranged seats offers ensured 35 per cent manifestation of women in local and national authorities, but handful of women include won party endorsement to contest basic seats.
Within the last parliamentary selection, 17 ladies won basic seats ” by far the very best figure in every parliamentary elections to date (the previous record being eight in 2001, suggesting a great upward pattern from a great abysmally low starting point (Pandey 2008). Some women candidates will be, however , believed to be proxies contesting on behalf of disqualified or jailed male loved ones. All personal parties possess delayed launching direct elections to ladies reserved chairs in Legislative house, since these types of seats happen to be valuable appui resources, especially during coalition negotiations.
With regards to women’s access to justice and security, one of the most persistent concern is about the prevalence of violence against women. The newest DHS info indicate that 49 percent of ever-married women acquired experienced a lot of spousal physical violence in their most current marriage, 18 per cent experienced experienced rasurado within marriage, 53 per cent had skilled some form of physical and/or lovemaking violence, although 13 percent had skilled both (NIPORT 2009: 201).
While the data does not indicate violence against women has increased over time, several evidence from the WHO (2005) multi-country research and other study 3 Emphasis group discussion posts about home violence as part of research to get the World Bank’s gender review did not reveal a recognized rise in domestic violence (World Bank 2008a: 92). It seems like likely which the efforts in the women’s 10 indicates that Bangladeshi world suffers from a relatively high prevalence of violence against girls (Naved ainsi que al. 006). A series of several sources include arrived at comparable estimates in the prevalence of domestic assault, including that between 45 per cent and half of almost all women experience violence via husbands in their life time, with the proportion increasing to two-thirds among lesser groups, in addition , just under one-fifth of wedded women of reproductive era (16″19 every cent) knowledgeable current or perhaps recent physical violence from partners (cited in Naved and Persson 2010). 1 . Changing society in the post-conflict period: dowry, violence and the feminisation of public space The bigger social foundation to the over changes in women’s lives was that of the dislocation to gender norms associated with the war in 1971 and the post-conflict period. This period was huge for many hundreds of thousands of households, so much so that the destruction of old certainties and traditions may well include primed gender relations pertaining to the fast social and economic alter that followed. This was a period in which the guarantees of men protection under the ‘patriarchal bargain’ became shakier. The account of one early on entrant into the RMG sector illustrates the problem in which a lot of women found themselves in the content war period: During the  troubles, my hubby and father were murdered by the razakars¦ My child was just over a year outdated then. We never located their physiques ¦ My mother and sister perished of condition.
I had two brothers, a single drowned and the other passed away of condition. All of them are lifeless ¦ I’ve no one left. (Kabeer 2k: 102) A mysterious number of women were raped during the warfare, possibly as much as several hundred thousand, 5 more experienced injury, displacement, plus the loss of fathers, brothers, partners and kids (Kabeer 2000). Women experienced themselves recently been prominent in the nationalist struggle ” a formative encounter for crucial sections of the women’s motion.
Yet the most critical state response was to spin the patriarchal bargain as you between (victimised) women and the state of hawaii through the ‘birangona’ programme intended to socially rehabilitate the women raped during the war by declaring them warfare heroines and arranging marriages for them (Kabeer 1991a). Since Mookherjee records ‘the kinship norms of purity and honour had been articulated in a public talk that produced [the women who had been raped] the worries not merely from the family or perhaps the community although also from the new nation’ (2008: 40).
Arguably we see in this initial action an appropriation with the responsibility to act on behalf of women whose victimhood brought these people directly inside the jurisdiction from the state. It absolutely was soon after the fact that state began to experiment with cultural protection for women through the Weak Group Creation (VGD) programme, it seems very likely that these alterations in the way the state of hawaii ‘saw’ poor women at this point are related. The VGD was a great innovation in the era, intended for among other reasons it targeted destitute females directly, instead of operating through male home heads (Hossain 2007).
This may be reasonably interpreted as marking official reputation that the patriarchal bargain experienced broken down en masse for its the majority of vulnerable people, and that it was, therefore , mandated to act. movement to draw attention to this kind of as a concern have borne fruit for the extent it receives more attention and is also spoken of as a trouble, in contrast to yesteryear. 4 Battle frequently involves sharp shifts in sexuality relations and related community policy (see Moghadam 2003). The number of females raped during the Bangladesh liberation war has been the subject of recent controversy. Susan Brownmiller used the 300, 000-400, 000 approximate in her definitive account, Against our Will. Yet Germaine Greer, herself effective in acquiring abortions pertaining to Bangladeshi wartime rape remainders in 1972, stated on television in 2011 that the wartime rapes in Bangladesh were ‘an downtown myth’ (she may have been talking about the idea that rape was a Pakistani army policy).
This weird volte-face features course conveniently discounted simply by numerous credible sources which usually suggest that about 25, 1000 abortions and adoptions happen to be known to have taken place, mainly because these were generally concealed or undertaken in secret, the number of rape survivors is likely to had been far greater, in accordance with the official lists that were collected and later destroyed. Bina D’Costa and Nayanika Mookherjee have published recent analyses of those events. 12 The split of the patriarchal bargain supposed many women were in the situation of having to aid themselves.
The famine and wider recession that adopted the conflict in the mid- 1970s developed growing facts that women had been seeking paid out work outside of the home ‘in the face of considerable level of resistance from family and community’ which will still believed a usual of woman seclusion (Kabeer 2000: 65). The mixture of women with no male safeguard, acute poverty and deprival and excessive fertility prices meant the region was ‘a ripe field’ for positioning women in the centre of development because beneficiaries and ‘targets’ (Azim 2001: 392).
Predating the war, longer-term processes of landlessness, impoverishment and fresh employment opportunities to get educated males were also affecting the economic resources of girls. These operations drove a reversal of marriage repayments from the items to the bride’s family (customary till the 1950s) toward payments towards the groom’s friends and family ” dowry or as is more commonly used, dabi (literally, ‘demand’) (Kabeer 2000). The persistent strength of the tradition of widespread and early marriage, especially for women, means that dowry has become a significant burden across sections of society.
This seems to be especially true amongst poor households with many daughters. Recent exploration found that around 53 per cent of rural homes and 18 per cent of urban households reported facing dowry requirements (Naved and Persson 2010, based on 2001 data). In addition, it seems that dowry demands are a relatively more dangerous problem amongst poorer people, with 61 per cent of rural women in the poorest quintile facing demands compared to 37 % in the best quintile, similar urban figures were 20 per cent intended for the lowest and 7 % in the leading quintile (ibid. p. 841). This may not mean that wealthier households will not give and take dowry, but that they can do so since ‘gifts’ and can generally manage to do so without serious harm to the household economic climate. A country wide representative survey by the fresh National Individual Rights Commission rate of Bangladesh placed dowry at the top of the list of issues reported to be impacting on women this summer (NHRCB 2011). Dowry or perhaps demand is actually a strikingly prevalent source of discontent and insecurity for the society in general, which has to date eluded effective regulation or perhaps social transform.
Amin states that the necessity of marriage amongst a ‘powerful perception of insecurity and risk of intimate violation of ladies living in people without a men guardian’ (1997: 230) along with the demands of dowry keep the weakest women vulnerable to marriages through which there is ‘no obligation for the man to back up his wife’ (ibid. ) ‘Dowry violence’, including murders, immolations, suicide and other kinds of violence is becoming categorised being a specific policy problem in the well-known media and within official discourse (see references in Government of Bangladesh 2009a: 10″11, 62″3).
Public view and community safety studies now routinely return ‘dowry’ among the most pressing social concerns of the day. The 1999 Bangladesh study for the World Bank’s Voices with the Poor analyze consistently identified dowry since among guys and can certainly key worries in relation to poverty and sexuality relations (Nabi et ‘s. 1999). A 2007 review of human security identified that a few 56 % of respondents listed ‘dowry’ as among the list of crimes and insecurities that they worried about the majority of, second simply to personal property criminal offenses at seventy seven per cent (Saferworld 2008).
One last aspect of the wider social backdrop against which ladies lives are being lived in 21st century Bangladesh is the feminisation of public space, a much-commented on change exemplified by visible urban fact of young girls garments personnel en masse to work. Other symbols of the feminisation of public space include the presence of large numbers of young girls likely to school and college in rural areas and upazilas and little towns, as well as the by-now familiar figure of ladies NGO personnel, some on motorcycles and bicycles, other folks walking or using community transport.
Various wear mind coverings of varied kinds and styles, but by no means all carry out at all times, featuring that this remains to be a matter of choice for women in Bangladesh. BRAC women staff have electricity costs an attire which resembles a get across between a lab cover and burkah, this indicates their standard and professional 13 position without requiring that they can cover their particular heads. A mobile phone billboard in 2011 includes a confident grinning young female cycling straight down a sun-dappled country lane ” a gulf from earlier imageries of women.
All of us will look even more at what this declaring of the right to move in community space means for gender relations in Bangladesh in relation to garments job more below. It should be noted the immense ethnical significance of girls having attained access to the population sphere will probably be lost about anyone who simply cannot recall the Bangladesh from the 1980s or earlier. 1 . 6 Personal strength revisited It is against this background that the contribution of can certainly RMG work to women’s empowerment is to be assessed.
A current analysis of the meaning of women’s personal strength among essential actors in Bangladesh concluded that the focus was predominantly upon individual and economic personal strength, and that this was at the expense of more ordinaire and more politics forms of power. In common with other recent examines of the that means of ladies empowerment within development worldwide, the daily news concluded that the understanding of ladies empowerment was a neutered thought of power because ‘choice’. Especially, it ruled out recognition with the central importance of women’s personal and collective empowerment in achieving bigger forms of sexuality equality. In addition to the Bangladeshi could movement, the key actors analyzed ” NGOs, donors, political parties ” all to greater or lesser certifications featured a ‘residual instrumentalism’ in their watch of the paths to sexuality equality in Bangladesh (Nazneen et ing. 2011). The perspective from the ladies movement, by comparison, was of a more multi-dimensional understanding of the kind of power ladies need to gain in order to secure their legal rights on a enduring basis, and not merely to the degree that this acts the pursuits of the nation more generally.
This included, in addition to individual ladies agency and economic empowerment, recognition in the need for collective and personal empowerment, so as to jointly change the ‘structures of constraint’ (Folbre year 1994, Kabeer 1997) within which usually all females operate. The paper figured inadequate and potentially invertable progress towards gender equality in Bangladesh required dealing with the strength political, institutional and ethnic changes that mark the ‘second generation’ challenges to Bangladeshi women’s progress.
These types of have not generally come into view as crucial determinants of empowerment as of yet. In an effort to contribute to the widening with the debate regarding the personal strength of women in Bangladesh, the analysis with this paper offers to explore the associated with the RMG across the domain names of can certainly empowerment, looking at not only the consumer and economic forms of electricity women possess gained, nevertheless also a lot more explicitly feminist concerns of collective and political power.
So to a considerable degree, the current paper offers the empirical evaluation of the assumptive arguments define by the creator and acquaintances in Nazneen et approach. 2011). The paper will certainly proceed using its empirical analysis by speaking about the effects of RMG employment on women’s nationality, access to basic education, privileges to general public space, and political empowerment. 6 One example is Batliwala (2007), Cornwall ainsi que al. (2008), Eyben and Napier-Moore (2009). 14 a couple of The RMG sector Some background to the RMG sector is necessary.
A history of the introduction and growth of the sector is available from the other sources, several so we all focus here on the modern day economic, political and interpersonal significance with the RMG sector. The history of the RMG sector in Bangladesh resembles those of most low income nation expansions in export manufacturing with the global restructuring with the garments operate, enabled by trade liberalisation and low labour costs, with some neighborhood variants. Several features of the growth and advancement the RMG sector will be worth noting, however.
It emerged at first in response towards the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) in 1974, which set quotas on clothing exports in the newly industrialising countries of Asia, and encouraged ‘quota-hopping’ as business owners sought to ascertain manufacturing sites in quota-free sites. The Korean organization Daewoo was an early competitor in Bangladesh, when it came to a contract with a Bangladeshi firm, Desh Garments, that it qualified and presented equipment (Kabeer and Mahmud 2004).
Country wide, economic change processes were in teach from the early on 1980s to reverse the socialist and state-directed drive of economical policy, abandoning import substitution industrial procedures in favour of endorsing export-led growth. This was the majority of marked within the National Industrial Policy in 1982, which set up incentives and support for foreign immediate investment, which include through export processing specific zones (EPZs) (Kabeer and Mahmud 2004, Kochanek 1993). The 1990s observed more offers for RMG investment, pushing the growth of more locally-owned firms (Bhattacharya and Rahman 2000).
In the beginning, domestic entrepreneurs typically came on their client networks within their home areas to mobilize their preliminary workforce. There were a paternalistic aspect to a few of this, while the factory owner essentially undertook the safeguard of women personnel from these kinds of areas (Kabeer 2000). At the beginning, the technique of employing women appears to have been directed in part for circumventing the possibility of labour organisation, as the main lesson from the state-owned businesses was that this made it extremely hard to run a home based business00.
Women looked as probably docile, and this, with the extreme cheapness of their labour, made an emphasis on women’s work more likely (Kabeer 2000). A concept that tailoring was in a few sense typically or at least correctly women’s work may possess contributed to the social acceptability of the thing that was, in effect, tailoring. But as evidence of so why more conservative rural households accepted girls’ garments function, this has not generally recently been accepted by simply leading students in the field, who note that dressmaker is a customarily male career.
RMG work had zero important opponents and many potential beneficiaries, in order that whether or not open public policy was overtly supporting, it would not deter could employment, actually during shifts towards even more Islamic variations of the point out in the eighties. Despite employers’ concerns that male personnel may be even more militant and organised, the greater recent beginning of the knitwear industry has been on the basis of a considerably more man workforce (as knitting devices are seen as too heavy and too intricate for women).
The effects of the changing gender and skills from the export labour force have not been incredibly thoroughly thought to date. It can be surprising, for example, that the changing gender structure of the labor force did not generate developing more constructive workerowner- state relationships a higher goal. 7 Around the origins and development of the RMG sector, see Bhattacharya and Rahman (1999), Kabeer (2000: 69″76), Khundker (2002), Rock (2003), Siddique (2003), Khatun ainsi que al. (2007), Rahman ain al. (2009), Morshed (2007). 15 2 . 1 The economic value of the RMG sector
It is difficult to overstate the contemporary significance with the RMG sector in Bangladesh’s economic development. With around 1 . 9 million personnel directly used in the sector (Ahmed 2009), it employs only 5 per cent of the total time force of 51. 8 million, over onethird in the 5. a few million that manufactures employment (Rahman, Moazzem and Hossain 2009). Yet a lot of 76 per cent of all export earnings were from clothing in 2008″9 (MoF 2009, chapter 6), and a 2002 estimate was that the RMG sector contributed a lot of 10 per cent of GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (Bhattacharya, Rahman and Raihan 2002).
The central significance for the national economy means their continued progress has been a crucial public policy concern. The industry provides faced a number of challenges, but for date features proven to be remarkably adaptive to its global market environment. The attacks include the ALL OF US Harkin Bill to prevent make use of child labour in the early 1990s, the shock to global trade which hit exports towards the US (a major marketplace for Bangladeshi garments) following 9/11 (see Siddique the year 2003, Ward ou al. 2004), and the end of the favourable Multi Fibre Arrangement in 2005, which will exposed Bangladesh’s sector to more competition, including from China (Ahmed 2009).
More recently, the sector provides recovered well from the global downturn of 2008″10. That did not go untouched: clothing exports contracted substantially inside the first half the 2009″10, nevertheless this was when compared with unprecedentedly fast growth the previous year. The industry was hit to some extent less and later than foreign trade sectors elsewhere, very likely since the Bangladeshi industry benefited (in order volumes) from downward pressure about prices ” the so-called ‘Wal- Mart effect’ (Rahman, Bhattacharya ain al. 009, CPD 2011). But the concept that the sector’s continued accomplishment depends entirely on ‘a race to the bottom’, and rests on Bangladesh’s continued ability to compete amongst downward salary pressures today lacks credibility. One cause is that a process of reorganization, rearrangement, reshuffling is already taking place, and there is proof of improvements in compliance and management techniques to raise staff member productivity in the modern sections of the industry (Rahman et ing. 2007, MoF 2009, CPD 2011).
You will find signs these improved bureaucratic and complying practices will be enabling purchases of worker productivity, helping industrial facilities cope with the uncertainties of export development in Bangladesh (political and labour unrest, transport, strength and other infrastructural bottlenecks). Various other changes taking place include fresh Rules of Origin that may be opening up fresh opportunities inside the European industry and the growth of the Oriental market to get Bangladeshi garments.
Changes to the Indian control regime might also favour RMG exports from Bangladesh, as well as the global monetary recovery more generally (CPD 2011). 2 . 2 The political significance of the RMG sector Monetary significance is usually accompanied by its growing politics significance as a wellorganised and resourced and relatively single interest group. The first generation RMG owners had been mainly in the professional midsection classes ” engineers and civil servants, factory managers and specialists (see Kabeer and Mahmud 2004).
The growth of the RMG and the organization of the Bangladesh Garments Suppliers and Exporters Association (the BGMEA) sometime later it was the Bangladesh Knitwear Suppliers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) marked the first actual entry of organised organization interests (as distinct by more particularistic interests) in the Bangladeshi polity. Business in the region had traditionally been completely outclassed by non-Bengali Muslims just before Independence, so the RMG owners collectively showed the breakthrough of a distinctive indigenous entrepreneurial class (see Sobhan and Sen 1988, Kochanek 1993).
Most notably throughout the BGMEA, organization interests started to organise to get political affect through the 1990s (see Kochanek 1996 and 2000). Also, it is significant that the high proportion of countrywide politicians happen to be drawn from business and industry (57 and 56 % in the previous and present parliaments 16 respectively), 8 changing the mainly urban specialist middle course politicians from the independence period (see Khan et ing. 1996, IGS 2006).
Whilst a number for the amount of RMG owners among the people in parliament is not available, the prominence of garments making within the organization sector overall in Bangladesh suggests that it is likely that a significant amount has personal interests or perhaps close cable connections with the sector. Persistent infrastructural bottlenecks (problems of electricity, gas, travel, the Chittagong Port) underpinned by concerns of governance (grand and petty file corruption error, slow procurement and purchase, labour unrest and political violence) trouble the business lead times of clothing exports. There may be potential for BGMEA to act like a lobbying electricity for the higher good of manufacturing interests and the general public, specifically in relation to strength supply and infrastructural expenditure. Yet optimism that the fairly powerful BGMEA, with its excessive degree of insulation from nation-wide politics afforded by simply its position because lead exporter (IGS 2006), might put in positive challenges on economical governance has not to date been realised.
Instead, where the BGMEA has acessed in on governance issues, it has generally attempted to insulate the sector from them, instead of forcing a political negotiation on increased governance of wider community benefit. An illustration is the politics parties’ subside to exempt garments industrial facilities from hartal (the all-out strikes which have been the main system of the political opposition within Bangladeshi politics) in the nineties, which in theory should have allowed export development to continue unhindered. 10 The BGMEA has also been successful in attracting particular concessions and incentives.
This was illustrated most clearly inside the fiscal stimulus response to a global financial crisis mainly because it began to happen in Bangladesh in 2009. Compared to the primary exporters, the early stage of the catastrophe saw the RMG sector affected through dropping garment prices throughout the world, but observed order amounts rise with all the ‘Wal- Mart effect’. The sector believed excluded through the first monetary stimulus package deal of $488 million in April 2009, and lobbied successfully for much more support since garments export growth rejected in the first half of the 2009″2010 financial yr (Rahman ainsi que al. 010). But it was not until the third stimulus deal that its lobbying weary fruit which has a wide-ranging pair of incentives to aid the sector through the problems, focused on money incentives and easing the expense of business (MoF 2009). However , initiatives to extract government cash to spend wages and Eid bonuses in 2009 had been embarrassingly taken down, while using Government disregarding industry warnings that with out help with spending wages and bonuses labour unrest might result, citing statistics exhibiting the sector’s continued earnings.
The BGMEA denied aiming to blackmail the government, and as the primary English vocabulary newspaper input it, was required to eat ‘humble stimulus pie’. 11 The limits to the political clout in the BGMEA have become increasingly crystal clear, for two reasons. One is that it can be widely presumed that because the 2000s, the leadership of the sector has become more closely aligned to party pursuits. This may make sure greater access to the seats of power, but it also short-cuts its autonomy with respect to open public policy. two The second could possibly be equally important, and this is the limits on the politics influence of the BGMEA via what is apparently widespread well-liked sympathy together with the RMG workers’ 8 Personal communication from Inge Amundsen of Chr. Michelsen Institute. 9 Bhattacharya and Rahman (2000) remember that partly because of the need to importance raw materials, business lead times in RMG produce in Bangladesh are some 120″150 days, when compared with only 19-45 days in Sri Lanka, and 12 in India. More modern estimates had been that business lead times to get woven garments were inside the 90-130 day range (Nuruzzaman and Haque 2009, Haider 2007, Globe Bank 2005). 0 Even though factory owners said that shipping goods continued to be an issue, therefore, the exemption was ultimately toothless. But it clarifies why so a large number of vehicles upon Dhaka roads at this time transported signs describing that they were engaged in ‘urgent export work’, to signal their exclusion from potential political assault. 11 ‘BGMEA eats humble stimulus pie’, 8 Sept. 2010 2009, The Daily Celebrity. 12 This kind of insight comes from interviews carried out with garments factory owners including several active inside the BGMEA, within a multi-donor country governance assessment this year. 7 historical struggle to get decent (and regular) income. This is an elaborate issue that merits a lot more sustained focus than it has received thus far. Several areas of the popular notion of this have difficulties merit focus. The first is that for many in the business high level, wage problems and legal rights of work to arrange spell the doom of the industry, because organised work is seen to obtain captured crucial (mainly public sector) industries in the past.
There is a marked trend among the RMG owner classes to discover the outside hands of financially powerful local neighbours trying to sabotage this kind of nationally important sector, with much darker reference to ‘vested quarters’ and out of doors actors exploit otherwise up to date workers. These kinds of views happen to be dismissive in the workers’ struggle. In the well-liked and middle section class point of view, however , the gap between your conspicuous usage of the garments-owning classes and the pitiful shell out packets of those young staff has become a glaring inequality.
Sympathetic literary, journalistic and other depictions of Bangladeshi garment staff may have heightened this awareness, though this appears to be more held by elite and English-language lifestyle than mass or well-known culture (see also Kabeer and Mahmud 2004). 13 That RMG sector career has meant a reduction in the supply of women’s and girls’ home-based labour has caused substantial hardship to middle school households, and in particular to operating women, this is very likely to average their sympathies and support. 4 Yet while there is not a middle school support pertaining to worker assault, there is certainly wide-spread awareness within this group of the rising cost of living since the mid-2000s and so a few recognition with the legitimacy of their struggle (if not their particular methods). Because food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011 the issue of low salary has remained an issue with which all urban persons can sympathise (see Hossain et ing. 2009, Hossain et ing. 2010). Government authorities have responded in a series of ways as 2006. Initiatives by the state to put straight down protests have achieved very little.
The introduction of the Industrial Police is part of the work to prevent unrest, although personnel generally record that work organisation even more generally is definitely repressed. The priorities of the state with respect to garment staff is outlined by this creativity, which was certainly not intended to police worker behaviour, rather than to guard workers up against the harassment and abuse they routinely face in and en route to work (Siddiqi 2003). The present Awami League Authorities has to time been more responsive to the garment workers’ demands than some past regimes, plus the minimum wage was set at Tk 3000 in 2009.
Yet the have difficulty continues in some sections of the growing RMG labour movements, with says for a Tk 5000 lowest wage now being argued for. While the present plan dates for least towards the May 06\ incidents which usually involved physical violence, arson and criminal destruction, violent activities continue within the sector, rewarding the need for even more regular channels of labour-industry dialogue and policy-making operations. 3 Women as RMG workers All of us turn today to women’s experiences as RMG workers. It will check out two obviously contradictory problems about can certainly garment work experience.
The first is the tough and exploitative nature of garments work, this sort of work has always been tough ” physically demanding and featuring dangerous conditions of fireplace risks, sex harassment and physical and verbal abuse. By virtue of all their gender, females typically enter the industry in terms of comparative downside in terms of pay, conditions and promotion leads. Irregular salary, overtime and bonus payments have long been and remain one of the 13 For instance , Monica Ali’s somewhat debatable Brick Street, itself inspired by Naila Kabeer’s The energy to Choose (2000).
Sohela Nazneen reports that a search for well-liked representations of ladies garments workers in music, films and many others returned relatively few examples, suggesting this really is a obvious gap in popular cultural representations in the heroines with the country’s export industry! 18 Many thanks to Sohela Nazneen for this level. 18 significant problems personnel face in the industry. All of this has meant that until recently, couple of women apparel workers stayed at longer than five years, with their clothes career generally overlapping with their pre- and early matrimony lives.
Many women find it difficult to balance care work together with garments employment, which involves very long working days and unpredictable over-time, facilities pertaining to childcare happen to be rare, as return to function within the same factory after maternity. The hard mother nature of garments function appears to be contradicted by the second concern about ladies RMG career which is that despite it is hardship, ladies and girls who have worked inside the sector have noticed a range of forms of interpersonal and economical empowerment due to that work.
The important issue here is that these conclusions highlight the relative positive aspects afforded simply by RMG career within the circumstance of can certainly limited time market opportunities in Bangladesh. 3. one particular Hard work Females make up the most workers inside the RMG sector as a whole, with most recent estimations suggesting that up to 1 ) 7 , 000, 000 women are utilized in the sector at present (Ahmed 2009). 12-15 The sexuality composition with the apparels sector workforce has evolved in recent years, together with the growth of the knitwear sector which engages more guys.
That knitwear manufacturing is seen as ‘men’s work’ has been from the belief that girls are less able of the physical and skill demands in the machinery utilized in knitwear and sweater development. Women and young lady workers happen to be concentrated in the woven RMG sector, when the gendered style of the job structure is the fact senior administration, supervisors and occupations known as skilled experts (e. g., cutters, finishers) tend to always be men, many machine employees and helpers are women and girls.
Siddiqi summarises the gendered structure of development: Production is divided into three main jobs ” slicing, sewing and finishing. A production director (PM), generally male, looks after the entire development process via cutting to shipment, and reports only to the managing director. The cutting section is supervised by a men master cutter machine (cutting master) under which other cutters and helpers, all man, work. The responsibility of supervising the entire sewing section is in the hands of the floor-in-charge, when he or she’s called.
The floor-in-charge of sewing is definitely preferably a female, ‘so the workers will certainly feel comfortable getting their challenges to her’. Almost three quarters of the line supervisors inside the sewing section are males ¦ The sewing machine providers and adjoint are predominantly female, around 80 per cent. In the completing section, the floor-in-charge is actually male, similar to line supervisors and those who also do the ironing. Folding is completed by people. Male employees do the product packaging and cartoning (2000: L-13).
The power of gender segmentation within the RMG market means that ladies who do jobs that are viewed as more experienced ” and thus as ‘men’s’ jobs ” can be embarrassed with their ‘unfeminine work’ (Kabeer 1991b). Latest survey info suggests that occupation segregation is less acute inside the more ‘modern’ EPZs as compared to the non-EPZ factories (see Table 3). 15 It can be a feature with the informality of the industry that reliable up-to-date worker data is hard to come by for the RMG sector. Estimates of the proportion of ladies workers inside the sector change widely, via 66 (Paul-Majumder and Begum 2000) to 90 percent (Ahmed 2009).
Given the growing significance of the knitwear industry and its particular predominantly men workforce inside the RMG sector as a whole, the low figure may very well be closer to the reality in the present day. nineteen Table a few. 1 Gender division of RMG jobs (% of workers) Job EPZ Non-EPZ Guys Women Guys Women Agent 70 54. 5 fifty four. 5 77. 3 Assistant 20 27. 3 , 4. 5 Packer , , , 6. eight Other 15 18. 2 45. 5 11. 5 All 95 100 100 100 Resource: CPD/GATE study, in Khatun et approach. (2007). Male or female segregation within the RMG occupation hierarchy is usually reflected in gender salary differentials.
The CPD/GATE study found that wage differentials remained significant (indeed, they might have improved over time) in the RMG industry, with women machinists or employees earning only 71 percent of the earnings of males operators, feminine helpers attained a mere 53 per cent of male helpers’ earnings in 2005. Simply in ‘other’ categories of function ” ironing, folding, washing and providing ” had been wage differentials slightly in preference of women (103 per cent) (Khatun ainsi que al. 2007: 42). However promotion leads were generally dim for most women personnel (Chaudhuri Zohir and Paul-Majumder 1996).
Research indicates that simple discrimination discussed part of the wage differential and that the wage distance may have increased over time (see likewise Paul-Majumder and Begum 2k, 2006, Paul-Majumder 2003). This is despite the fact that skill differentials often explain a lot of gender income differentials in the RMG than in other groups (Ahmed and Maitra 2010, Kapsos 08, Uddin 2008). However , in spite of strong facts that simple elegance affects salary differentials, business leaders, policymakers and transact unionists continue in the perspective that skill differentials totally explain ladies lower pay out (see CPD 2007).
Garments work is not a life-time career for many women who been employed by in this. Women usually be young when they operate the garments, and the 1990s lasted typically four years (Paul-Majumder 1996). However , there are several signs of alter. The average associated with women outfit workers appears to have risen since the 1990s, from 19 in 1990 to 25 in 2006 (Khatun et ‘s. 2007). The proportion of married girls also increased, from 37 per cent in 1990 and 1997, to 59 % in the 2006 CPD/GATE study (Khatun ou al. 2007).
This implies more long-lasting factory careers. Yet the total pattern continues to be of a incredibly young feminine workforce (60 per cent underneath 25 in the CPD/GATE survey (Khatun ain al. 3 years ago, see likewise CPD 2007). It is also the case that manufacturing plant work hasn’t provided steady, respectable industrial jobs, even though EPZ employment comes nearer to that ideal than work in other kinds of factories. Foreign trade sector stock work beneath the New Foreign Division of Work needs to be positioned on the procession between formal and relaxed work (Kabeer and Mahmud 2004b).
The labour deal is certainly an informalised and fluid arrangement between factories and personnel, enabled in part by the a shortage of recruitment costs in a framework of no training and a steady supply of adequately trained and ‘unencumbered’ labour. Requirements for identity cards and contract letters and other formalising aspects typically feature among the list of demands of garment employees, who seem to see these kinds of as tools with which to formalise all their unevenly honored claims to wages, overtime and benefits.
Other reasons these are generally not good operating class jobs include issues of staff member safety. Manufacturing plant fires occur regularly, regardless of the provision of fireplace escapes and safety tools having been built mandatory and among buyers’ compliance requirements. Many youthful workers possess died because of being locked inside to avoid theft of materials or to meet deadlines. In a twenty particularly tragic recent celebration, a large, founded factory captured fire in December 2010, and 26 people passed away ” 3 from jumping out of the eleventh floor windows ” and around 75 people were injured. 6 In one estimate, a lot of 60 percent of outfit factories carry on and lack fire safety equipment, 17 in spite of extensive and growing pressure for industrial facilities to abide by social and labour requirements. Garments job is also therefore physically demanding that few people may last more than a few years. Chaudhuri Zohir and Paul-Majumder found an increased incidence of illness among women workers than among men. These ranged from eye and head aches, to respiratory and digestive, gastrointestinal conditions and urine infections (1996). The high yield rate of workers was attributed partially to ‘sustained exhaustion coming from work’ (pp. 01), a finding that other research has corroborated. An important yet typically neglected aspect of having less safety at the office is that industrial facilities and ways to job can be significant sites of sexual nuisance and other varieties of abuse, like fact that paid out work outside of the house continues to be an anomaly albeit significantly common. Verbal and other kinds of abuse inside factories had been found to negatively affect the productivity of virtually half of selected workers, and practices is very much widespread (see Siddiqi 2003).
Yet while table four suggests, intimate harassment and more sources of risks to personal security are actually more common whilst traveling to and from than in the workplace, a
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