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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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Workplace Contracts, Part 2

We’re returning to the subject of workplace contracts and conditions in this week’s Garment Worker Diaries blog. This week we focus on contract terms, workers’ concerns about dismissal, and their concerns about the health and safety of their workplaces.

In addition, we’re following up on our blog from last week with an update on the current COVID-19 situation in Bangladesh. Two disturbing findings from our interviews last week are that more than half the workers felt uncomfortable going to work during the lockdown (remember, the lockdown ended early for the RMG sector) and, also, more than half reported not being given a mask to wear at work. 

We will be tracking these data over the next few weeks and will be trying to turn them around in as near-real-time as possible so that you get the most accurate depiction of the scene in the RMG sector in Bangladesh, directly from garment workers themselves.

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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Lockdowns and COVID-19 Surge: What Would YOU Like to Ask Garment Workers?

This week’s Garment Worker Diaries blog post sees us taking a step back from the data to frame the discussion we’ll be having over the next few weeks about COVID-19 lockdowns in Bangladesh and their effect on garment workers.

Bangladesh has recently been one of the harder-hit countries in terms of the spread of COVID-19, and it also has one of the lowest rates of vaccination among countries globally. Garment workers themselves are being vaccinated at very low rates.

Amidst full lockdowns, partial lockdowns, factory production restrictions and the ever-evolving public health directives, it can be easy to lose sight of the people most affected by uncertainty. Even though some times are more uncertain than others, the Garment Worker Diaries methodology demands that we listen to low-income and marginalized communities in uncertain times and “normal” times. That’s what we’ve been doing in Bangladesh for the past four years. This way, we get the full story, directly from workers. 

While we wait for that story to unfold in the coming weeks, take a moment to think about the workers returning to work in factories. They will be busy making our clothes while the pandemic is in full flight throughout Bangladesh.

Please remember that you can always submit questions for the workers by writing to questions@workerdiaries.org


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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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