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The policy brief highlights the key barriers that women entrepreneurs and MSMEs are facing in Bangladesh; and how the overall situation deteriorated further due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector is an important driver of economic growth.1 From an industry that generated a few million dollars in export earnings in the 1970s, it is now an industry of USD 30 billion (2017–2018)2 that accounts for 83 per cent of the country’s total export revenue. Women comprise the majority of the RMG workforce and it is clear that women workers have significantly contributed to the development of the RMG sector.
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UN Women and IOM in Cox’s Bazar partnered to conduct this research which presents a critical exploration of gendered social norms among the Rohingya community in Cox’s Bazar and concludes with key reflections and guiding questions for practitioners working in response interventions in Cox’s Bazar to improve programmes with respect to sensitivity surrounding social norms.
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting nationwide restricted mobility is exacerbating the pre-existing social and economic inequalities, adding more layers of barriers, discrimination and threats for women in their homes and communities. The brief reflects the situation and voices of women and gender diverse people from the ground, constantly battling against these challenges.