SANEM conducts survey on household economies of RMG workers


To assess the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic on the overall working and living conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh SANEM in partnership with MFO have been conducting a series of surveys, with new questions and among slightly changed number of respondents each week. 

In their latest in the series of surveys on garment workers in Bangladesh, South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) and Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) have found that among the 1272 workers they had interviewed, 34% of respondents reported that they were the only household earner. 

Among the respondents, 26% of women said that they were the only household earner, compared to 60% of men who said the same.

The survey found that the remaining 66% of households reported there was at least one additional wage earner living at home other than the respondent themselves.

Around 1272 workers who are employed in factories in Chittagong, Dhaka City, Gazipur, Narayanganj, and Savar have participated in the survey. Over three-quarters of the working respondents are women, which is roughly representative of workers in the sector as a whole.

The latest survey looks into the household economies of garment workers. 

The survey helps to understand not only how individual garment workers are coping during the COVID-19 crisis, but how the members of their household upon whom each other depends are also faring, a blog article on the survey findings said.

Among the households which reported having at least one additional wage earner living at home, 83% agreed to share information on the economic activities of the other wage earners residing in the home. 

It was found that among these households:  91% of respondents reported one additional wage earner in the households, almost 9% of respondents reported two additional wage earners while less than 1% of respondents reported three or more additional wage earners

These statistics from July 2020 are very similar to the March through June period, the blog report mentioned. 

The following demographic breakdown is also similar to what was previously reported. 

The surveys being conducted by SANEM and MFO are part of a project titled “Garment Worker Diaries”. 

The Garment Worker Diaries collect regular, credible data on the work hours, income, expenses, and financial tool use of workers in the global apparel and textile supply chain in producing countries.