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Women Empowerment

Agrajattra believes in sustainable women empowerment so that we may fabricate our beloved Bangladesh and face the upcoming challenges of 21 century as half of our population are women. Basically we focus on RMG women who are above 80% of our national labor in this industry as they don’t have the basic rights which may promote her to lead a healthy life. We address the fundamental disputes related to her exposure and we are thriving our best to uphold a solid platform and entangling the stakeholders who are directly sticking to this affair like the garment manufacturers, garments workers, trade unions or labor federations and we Agrajattra has taken some bold initiatives to deliver this massage to all over concerns to uplift our women workers and their life style.

Goal: RMG workers, especially women are empowered to claim their rights. Particularly vulnerable groups, i.e. textile and garment workers, especially women, have increased their capacity to exercise their rights.

Purpose: To improve the working conditions of workers, especially women in RMG, TEXTILES production industries in Bangladesh.

Target Beneficiary : We have been concentrating in women empowerment for RMG sector since 2005 since to present and in this journey Oxfam GB, GIZ, UNIDO, Maxwell Stamp UK / Action AID Bangladesh, CARE Bangladesh, Action Aid UK, European Union (EU) have been marching with us to endeavor avail this target by setting up an accountable mechanism.

Our direct beneficiaries are the RMG women workers and we used to made a half yearly census in every year, through this process we notice that we have covered up 59.9 k RMG workers who are our direct beneficiary and on the other hand, 2.99 lacs RMG workers are our indirect beneficiary.

Activities:  As Oxfam GB, GIZ, UNIDO, Maxwell Stamp UK / Action AID Bangladesh, CARE Bangladesh, Action Aid UK, European Union (EU) have been with us since 2005 in this endeavor so we specified our tools & mechanism to sustain our RMG workers project. Our basic programs are Women Cafe and cafe based activation tools Non-Class and Cascade Training Methodologies. At the very beginning we addressed RMG workers’ fundamental bargaining issues and then we fabricate some effective training modules (Rights, Good Governance Facilitation & Negotiation and Financial Management) for themselves which would enhance their power to construct their rights to survive. We promote them up to raise their voice relevant to their rights through our non-class and cascade training platform and create the leaders who will be rolling up as a mentor to move forward to avail their own rights.

Our prime motto is to deliver this massage to all over RMG women workers that you’re not alone, Agrajattra with you to promote your basic rights inside your factory and we are reshaping a sustainable strong working platform where we aggregate all the stakeholders in this context like the garment entrepreneurs, the workers, the trade unions or labor federations and all. Basically we do work as a trusted pressure group on behalf of our RMG women workers to redecorate their dreams and implementation so that they may be capable to taste the flavor of life as a human being.

Name of the projects implemented & Current Activities on

Women Empowerment, Leadership Development:

  • Women Leadership development in RMG sector – OXFAM GB (2005 – 2010),
  • Empowering women workers for leadership development – GIZ BD, PROGRESS (2007 -12),
  • Early Childhood development support program by Day care Centre setup in the RMG industries.
  • Women in Development training for female workers in Shrimp processing factories – By UNIDO (2009 -2012),
  • Empowering women workers for leadership development & awareness program – Maxwell Stamp UK / Action AID Bangladesh.
  • Empowering Women RMG Workers Project in Bangladesh – GIZ PESE 01 (2012 – 2015)
  • Empowering Women workers (RMG, TEXTILES) in the industry project of Bangladesh – GIZ/BMZ – PSES 02 (2015 -2017).
  • “OIKKO – United for translating rights into action NOW” – Women Workers Leadership development & Strengthen Civil Society project support by CARE BANGLADESH/EU. Duration: 2015 – 2017.
  • Sustainable and Responsible Actions for Making Industries Care (SRAMIC) in 05 Metropolitan Thana of Chittagong City – Action aid UK / European Union.
  • “Women’s Café” Promotion of Social Dialogue in the industry.

       {The Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES- III Project}  (December 2017-November-2018).

Supported By  :  


Outcomes :

  • Workers, especially women, have a comprehensive understanding of Bangladesh Labour Law and occupational health and safety.
  • Workers, especially women, have a collective voice in the form of a functional participation committee and are able to effectively mediate conflict between management and worker.
  • RMG factory owners and management understand the benefits of compliance and are aware of the importance of a gender friendly workplace.
  • Workers, especially women, have access to legal aid services, and are able to resolve and negotiate conflict with management.
  • Local Trade Unions and Local Labor Federations are being strengthened through these processes and women leaders are being created to take up the challenges related to their fields.

Women Cafés: Agrajattra

Under Women Empowerment, Leadership Development Project:  

PEG Super Leader Meeting & TV show of Natok (Sui sutar golpo) and TV Show regarding Calculating Overtime, Workers Safety, Gender, Fire safety etc.

Name of Master & Standard café at Chittagong :

AGRAJATTRA Operating following women cafés in slum areas of Chittagong City Corporation:

  1. Mohammad Nagar (Baizid Thana) Women Café
  2. Kalurghat Basic (Chandgaon) Women Café
  3. Bow bazar (Bakolia Thana) Women café
  4. Moonsurabad (Double Mooring Thana) Women Café
  5. Baropool (Halishara) Women Café
  6. Muradpur (Panchlish Thana) Women Café
  7. Kotwali Women Café
  8. CEPZ Women Café

Documentary Shows during Training Session at Master & Standard café :

  • Documentary on RMG workers’ rights Tele film – “Sui Shootar Galpo”.
  • Documentary on Fire Safety on Management initiatives & prevention.
  • Documentary on ILO fire safety training.
  • Documentary on Fire safety for Workers awareness development.
  • Documentary on fire fighting on different types of Fire Extinguisher
  • Documentary on RMG workers Gender Equality.
  • Documentary on RMG workers Equal rights at Work
  • Documentary on RMG workers a place for everyone.
  • Documentary on RMG workers’ rights – Garments Kanna.

Training information

Agrajattra facilitators use GIZ-PESE provided training flip Chart and brief booklet on 10 core elements of Labor Law 2006 and its addition 2013, 2015, ILO standards, OSH & Fire safety etc Specifically PEGs Leaders are given training on following subjects viz.

  1. Wage grade and overtime calculation
  2. Appointment letter, ID card, service book
  3. Working hours
  4. Timely payment of wage
  5. Maternity benefit calculation,
  6. Weekly holidays and leaves
  7. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), welfare issues,
  8. Trade union and association, participation committee
  9. Child labor
  10. Discipline (misconducts according to labor law)
  11. Fire Safety
  12. Gender Equality etc.

PEG Super Leader Training Session & Meeting

Agrajattra organized training for the PEGs leaders of the Peer Educator Group. One PEG Leader of each PEG got three-five days training according to the training plan. Facilitators of Agrajattra conducted training PROGRAMME. Three hours/day and Three days Training for a batch on Bangladesh Labor Law 2006 was organized by AGRAJATTRA for the PEGs Leaders.


  • There are 04 women Cafes now continue in Chittagong City Corp area.
  • We have trained 6000 Leaders as well as 60,000 Garments workers (Members safety) on key elements of Labor Law 2006 and its addition 2013, 2015, ILO standards, OSH & Fire etc.
  • Established 70 PC (Participatory Committee) in 70 RMG
  • Training provided 120 nos. of mid-level management staffs on Social Compliance among readymade garments industries.
  • Resolved Many (Appo 1200) disputes between Worker & Factory owner.
  • Skilled Workers problems solving techniques.
  • Women Workers have made aware of the safety Net facilities.
  • Women workers have been made aware of their legal rights.
  • Factory owners have sensitized to women worker rights.

United for translating rights into action NOW! OIKKO (unity)

The OIKKO project (‘unity’ in Bengali language) contributed to the realization of fundamental rights of workers in the Bangladesh ready-made-garment (RMG) industry. The action empowers female factory workers and strengthens labor right actors, from the grass-roots level up, to join forces for promoting the enforcement of the new labor law from July 2013 and for pursuing further reforms in the sector. The action aims to address the limited influence civil society has had to date on compliance, respect for workers’ rights, and workplace conditions in the RMG sector, and bridge the disconnect between workers and their representatives.

Overall objective: A strong and united civil society promotes the implementation of fundamental labor rights in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh. 

Specific Objective:

  • Trade unions and federations better fulfilling their role in representing workers and collective bargaining (as defined by workers, e.g. membership, services, accountability).
  • Female right activists holding union leadership positions and decision-making power.
  • Joint civil society initiatives have held government and factory owners accountable.

Target Beneficiary: Our direct beneficiaries are the RMG women workers 960 (Ekata members) and on the other hand, 3840 RMG co- workers are our indirect beneficiary RMG sector , family & Community.


32 EKATA Centre conducted sessions among 4 areas in Chittagong OIKKO Project. At present, they conducted session the detail information about sessions are following- number sessions conducted out of 84 where achieved conducted session averagely  77 days out of the session conducted by Peer Facilitator. The reason of low session, the most of session has been completed within Time.  In this cluster, project participants worked through production basis in sweeter factory. Accordingly name of awareness session in Kotwali, Baizid, Halishahar and EPZ has also been completed 12 sessions on communication, gender, child marriage and socialization, leadership. As a result EKATA groups more clearly and understanding enhanced Knowledge labor rights, Life skill, raise their Collective bargaining & build up women’s leaders. Project participants raised voice for their rights and entitlements. Project participants are searching on self sufficiency and independently Eagerness to income generating skill training Project participants are more clear and understanding about tools and why they were involved in this process.

Eagerness to receive services from health, legal in Friday or after evening when project participants comeback from factory, Want to solve family problems by themselves.

Formation of Women Workers Solidarity Groups ( Agrajattra):

Workers need to raise their voice and claim their rights together. Rights, especially for female RMG workers cannot be ensured without their participation in structures like trade union, federation, Participatory Committee.  But, lack of opportunities to go to the decision making role and enhance the leadership capacity holding female RMG workers back.  Empowerment of female factory workers and strong labor right actors, from the grass-roots level up, can pursue for further reforms of the sector.

Overall Objective of the project is “A strong and united civil Society promotes the implementation of fundamental labor rights in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in

Bangladesh”. Specific Objective of the project is “To strengthen the capacity of labor rights actors and increase the voice and influence of female garment workers”.

During the period a total of 35 sessions were conducted for the members CWAs. The topics covered in these sessions are trade union formation, Visioning & sustainability of CWAs, action plan for sustainability, occupational Helath and Hksd health and safety committee.  CWA leaders were the co-facilitators with the project staff in the CWA sessions. Of the sessions, 35 arranged in Chittagong and total participant number was 10393.

Link Service providers with CSGs: The project also continued to work to link service providers with CSG members to ensure the service available in the community and solve service related challenges (i.e. place, timing, support, mobilize the people) in the community. CSG member has attended in the service linkage meetings of Chittagong which more to ensure community support to make service providing activities smoother in the community.

Arrange Community Support Group Meetings: Meeting with community support groups (CSGs) was ongoing in this reporting period. In the project period arranged 9 meetings with support groups where total 531 participants (334 female and 197 male) have participated.

These meetings were mainly on relation build up between CWA leaders and CSG members, awareness on workers right in the community, sustainability of the CWA groups. The CSG members expressed their support to the CWA groups and will continue their support to arrange meetings of the CWA groups by providing venue after end of the project. Also the CSG members said that, they are continuing support CWAs to address their problems in the community and factory. As a result reduced the family problem, minimize the problem of rental house, getting low cost treatment, get additional bank support in week end.

Meeting of Trade union leaders and CWAs: The project has arranged a meeting with leaders from 12 federations participated in meeting arrange in Chittagong with CWA leaders of 4 area  in the  period. In these meetings the CWA leader came to know about the federations, their functions, strength which will help them to choose the better federation to become the member.  Also the federation leaders have got the base/network in the community to motivate female RMG workers to join their trade unions/federations.

Impact of the project :

  • 3840 garments workers (about 99% women) have a good understanding on salient features of Bangladesh Labor Law 2006, and claiming their rights accordingly.
  • 04 (high Potential Ekata member) Community Worker Association (CWA) functioning and assist the respective CWA by management in improving the compliance status in the factory.
  • 4 Ekata Platforms of high potential women’s leaders organized, capacitated, & linked with Trade Union & service Provider
  • Two (2) CWA (Halisahaor & Baizid) functioning & Submit to Govt. Registration.
  • Workers in need of law enforcement support receive adequate advice and help (about 70% of all reported cases are satisfactorily solved)
  • 43 Ekata member (potential) joining the Local Trade Union, Federation at Chittagong.
  • 960 Ekata members by reached & inspired 3840 co-worker in RMG sector, family & community.

Outcome/Result of the project :

  • 100% cases in which Ekata members collectively resolved an issue (with or without of help of their support group) (at Least 1 case one Ekata Group).
  • 80% change of rights–related information sharing with co workers family or community members.
  • 38% Ekata leaders joining in, engaging with, or setting up a trade union of federation.
  • 12 Trade unions & federations (Chittagong) capacitated leaders and members to represent workers interest, deliver services & collectively bargaining.

Sustainable and Responsible Action for Making Industries SRAMIC

Overall objectives: To Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth through the realization of the decent work agenda in Bangladesh.

Specific objectives: To Enhance the Capacity of CSOs Including Trade Unions working in the garments, lather and tannery industries to represent workers effectively, hold Las and Business owners accountable to labor policies and laws, and enhance the existing legal framework.

Target Beneficiary:

Our direct beneficiaries are the RMG women workers 3000 (STU, LTU, PC, PR Leader, RMG Worker) and on the other hand, 113000 RMG co- workers are our indirect beneficiary RMG sector, family & Community (Sep’18).


the project is to enhance the capacity of CSOs including trade unions working in the garment, leather and tannery industries to represent workers effectively, hold LA and business owners accountable to labor policies and laws, and enhance the existing legal framework. The action will target Agrajattra  57 CSOs; 03 Sector wise Trade Unions representing workers in the garment, tannery and leather plants at Chittagong level, 16 local trade unions working with specific factories, 40 Participation Committees, and 05 Worker Cafes. An intensive program of training Tot, Cascade, mentoring and other support will result in more effective Trade Unions and other representative structures, with better leadership and democratic management structures that are sustainable and financially viable and able to provide a range of services to support their members. Approximately Agrajattra 133,000 workers will be reached through awareness raising and training. Within the 42 months (November 2016-April 2019) of the project duration, the action aims to increase the membership of trade unions and Worker Cafes, and increase the number of cases of disputes taken up on behalf of their members by TUs and Participation Committees, as well as the number of positive actions taken by business owners in target factories to improve working conditions. Campaigning and advocacy will work to ensure that the Government of Bangladesh fully implements the 2006 Labor Law and business owners are fully compliant with its provisions.


  • 13 trainers from 03 sector wise Trade Unions able to train on all aspects of organizational capacity & also sector wise Trade Union leaders trained as trainers on all aspects of labor rights and skills such as negotiation, dispute resolution, collective bargaining and advocacy.
  • 33 local Trade Union leaders and 37 women leaders trained on all aspects of organizational capacity & also local Trade Union leaders, 13 PC members and 1325 women peer leaders trained on all aspects of labor rights and skills such as negotiation, dispute resolution, collective bargaining and advocacy.(June’18)
  • 113 members of Participation Committees trained as above.(June’18)
  • 05 Worker Cafés with strengthened organizational structures
  • 111 women trained in basic leadership and life skills
  • 27 women trained in advanced leadership skills (Octo’18)
  • 13 existing Participation Committees at factory sites have greater capacity to support workers and have robust internal governance processes in place.
  • 03 new Participation Committees set up with robust internal governance processes in place.
  • Increased organizational capacity of the Worker Safety Forum and a campaign strategy developed
  • Young Leaders Forum established
  • Worker Safety Forum Advocacy working group established
  • Communication plan developed for advocacy and campaigning activities

Partnership with Valued Donors:

  1. Action Aid Bangladesh (AAB)
  2. CARE Bangladesh
  3. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Agrajattra members of PSES (Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry) National STEERING Committee is a joint program of the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation And Development (BMZ), Implemented by GIZ.

Agrajattra also participating daylong workshop for “Social Compliance of Bangladesh Garments Industries” two times in a year since last 05 Years jointly organized by BSCI & Lift the standard Bangladesh. Where Hon’ble Minister of Labor & manpower, Hon’Ble MP’s, Retail Chain store Buyers, Buying houses, President of BGMEA, BKMEA, Trade Union leaders, Garments Factory Owners, NGO Officials and others stakeholders were Regularly Present in the Workshop.