Since independence in 1971, the Bangladeshi economy has been on the rise, largely due to the growing ready-made garment industry (RMG). This industry has been a major contributor to the socio-economic growth of the people, and has caused an increase in education and literacy, especially for women and girls. By created employment for around 4.4 million people, approximately 70% of whom are women, parents are more able to give their children access to education.
The study done by Rachel Heath and coauthor Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, of Yale University’s School of Management, shows the correlation between the RMG industry and the increase in education, especially highlighting the steep rise in opportunities for young girls. The industry created job opportunities for around 3 million women, many of who came from rural areas and had little to no education. These women are able to earn an income and contribute to their family’s socio-economic status. These benefits are then passed along to their children, especially girls who were not traditionally educated at the rate of boys, in the form of education access. According to Heath’s study, 27% more girls are attending school than prior to the growth of the RMG industry in areas within commuting distance to garment factories.