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What financial inclusion obstacle are we supporting low-income people to navigate? What financial capability are we attempting to enable or develop? What – gives you access to MFO’s select publications organized around the content of a financial education curriculum or training manual. You can also gain access to the full set of Global Financial Education Program materials here.

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What I Learned from the #OpenDiaries Campaign

The Garment Worker Diaries blog posts are back and this week we’re spotlighting the #OpenDiaries social media campaign as told to us through the eyes of one of the campaign’s co-managers, Evey Gutierrez, our outgoing communications intern. We’ll miss Evey being a part of our team. She has helped lay the groundwork in Bangladesh for what we hope will be an important and ongoing component of all worker diaries initiatives in every country.

What Evey points out and what the #OpenDiaries campaign has helped us to understand is that allowing workers to share their own words and their own images with the recipients of their data brings vitality to what would otherwise be a one-sided discussion. The purpose of Worker Diaries and the #OpenDiaries campaign is to establish a conversation between workers and other stakeholders. We can ask the people who make our clothes what they think about climate change, or about whether they find joy in their work, and those people can and will answer us. They can also prompt us to think about their work and life situations in different ways with the questions they invite us to ask and the photos they send us.

If you haven’t seen our most recent #OpenDiaries post yet, we encourage you to scroll through the slides to get a worker’s perspective on garment industry solidarity. We also encourage you to follow us on our Worker Diaries Instagram page to make sure you never miss a post.

Thanks to everyone who has followed us so far and submitted a question (you can always submit more questions by writing to questions@workerdiaries.org). Thanks to Evey for helping to establish such an important conversation. And perhaps most of all, thanks to the workers for sharing their lives with us and continuing that conversation.


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Household Earners, May 2021

We’re keeping up with garment workers’ households in this week’s Garment Worker Diaries blog, as we take another look at the data for salary-earning household members.

As a companion to this blog post, we also invite you to take a look at today’s #OpenDiaries post, for which we asked garment workers the question “How do you take care of your loved ones?”. Pitching in their salaries to shared household savings is only one way that garment workers support their friends and family.

Also, we’ll be taking a bit of a summer break from blogging over the next few weeks. We’ve got a lot of data to clean and analyze, and we’ll be excited to share our findings with you once the data have been sifted.

As always, please send any questions you have for MFO, SANEM, the workers or about the project to questions@workerdiaries.org


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Workplace Contracts, Part 1

This week’s Garment Worker Diaries blog serves two purposes: as a primer for a longer, more data-heavy blog we’ll be sharing with you soon about the contracts garment workers have entered into with their factories; and as an introduction to the initiative’s worker leaders in Bangladesh.

We don’t always go into the details about how our Diaries projects are structured, so we hope you’ll enjoy learning a bit more about the important role worker leaders play in helping to keep operations running smoothly.

As always, please send any questions you have for MFO, SANEM, the workers or about the project to questions@workerdiaries.org


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Garment Worker Diaries Update through May 2021

Looking strictly at the work hour, wage and food security data, the near-term outlook for garment workers in May 2021 is an improvement over the situation in Bangladesh in May 2020: work hours have stabilized, wages are back to normal, and food security rates are dramatically improved over the beginning days of the pandemic.

But another way to put this would be to say that, in the long-term, garment workers are still working too much, for too little, and the food security rates are proof of this: 1 in 4 garment workers continue to report at least one week in a month when they did not eat enough due to a lack of money, and for workers who are parents about 1 out of every 7 of them reports that their children aren’t eating enough in at least one week in a month. This is even during an Eid cycle in which over 60% of garment workers received a bonus payment from their factory. 

Normally, we avoid making comments about the adequacy of wage levels. But the data have been mounting over the last few months and are clear: workers working full-time and overtime still report food insecurity.

Speaking of data, and clarity, we’d like to take a moment to apologize for an error in our work hours data that we published in our April monthly update (the April 2021 numbers reported were those for March 2021). We’ve since corrected that error, with a note, and updated the associated graph. If you ever think we’ve made a mistake, or you’d like to discuss a specific data point, please write to us at questions@workerdiaries.org.


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Menstrual Health and Family Planning, May 2021 Update

Menstrual hygiene and family planning are the focus of this week’s Garment Worker Diaries blog—this past May 28th was Menstrual Hygiene Day and on that same day we asked female garment workers about their menstrual health, as well as their family planning practices. This is our 3rd general update on these important aspects of workers’ health.

MFO and SANEM collaborated with SNV Bangladesh to both formulate the survey questions and craft the blog. We were fortunate to receive a quote from SNV’s Farhtheeba Rahat Khan (Team Leader, RMG Inclusive Business Programs), who adds her own insight into how adequate menstrual hygiene awareness is essential for the well-being of both workers and factories. We invite you to take a look at the blog to read what Fara has to say and review our findings.

If you have any questions for us, the workers or the study at large, please send an email to questions@workerdiaries.org.


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