Choice, constraints and the gender dynamics of labour markets in Bangladesh

Lead Research Organisation: London School of Economics & Pol Sci
Department Name: Gender Institute

Abstract

This research will address the first overarching question in the call specification concerning the most effective approaches in enabling the poorest sections of the population to exit and stay out of poverty. It will also contribute to the second question relating to the political and institutional conditions associated with sustained transitions out of poverty. Empirical research from different contexts has attested to the positive implications of women's labour force participation, particularly in forms of employment that offer predictable income flows and decent conditions of work. These implications relate to health and wellbeing of family members as well as broader development goals, including economic growth and poverty reduction. In the light of such findings, the persistence of low rates of female labour force participation in the South Asia region, which accounts for a substantial proportion of the world's poor, is a matter of considerable policy concern. The persistence of these low rates despite economic growth across the region has been attributed to prevailing cultural norms giving primacy to male breadwinning roles together with strong restrictions on women's mobility in the public domain. At the same time, the fact that women's labour force participation has been rising in these countries, albeit at a very slow rate, suggests that cultural norms are not immutable.

The aim of this project is to explore the changing gender dynamics of labour markets in the specific context of Bangladesh. Bangladesh provides a particularly salient context for such research. Described as a 'test case for development' in the early years of its independence and as an extreme form of patriarchy, the country has experienced moderate rates of both growth and poverty reduction as well as considerable progress on gender equality in education and health. Quantitative studies from the Bangladesh context have suggested that access to paid work serves to promote women's empowerment (as measured by a range of indicators) while qualitative research testifies to the value that women themselves place on access to employment opportunities. Despite this, women's labour market activity remains low and largely concentrated in unpaid family labour and home-based self employment.

We propose to draw on different theoretical approaches to labour market behaviour, both those that focus on individual choice as well as those that emphasize structural constraint, to explore this labour market puzzle. We will utilize the rich data set provided by a purposively designed survey carried out in 2008 of 5198 women in 8 different districts in Bangladesh as part of the DFID-funded Pathways of Women's Empowerment research programme (2006-11). We will use qualitative research methods to gain deeper insights into the findings generated by the quantitative analysis. Our analysis will take advantage of the district-level variations in women's economic activity recorded by the 2008 survey to explore the influence of political and institutional variations in the local context on the women's labour market behaviour. A resurvey of these women, together with an additional component on the labour market behaviour of 2500 men randomly selected from the study locations, will allow us to gain both a gender perperspective on labour market dynamics as well as changes over time in the interactions between choice and constraint for women from different socio-economic groups in different locations. We will pay particular attention to the combination of household/individual characteristics and contextual factors most likely to enable women to take advantage of economic opportunities and translate these into improvements in household living standards and family well being. This will allow us to develop both short and longer term policy responses which would promote these enabling factors and to work with the policy actors best positioned to address them.

Planned Impact

Growing evidence suggests that women's employment acts as a structural catalyst for various forms of change, such as household poverty reduction and improvements in the education and well being of family members, that serve to make growth more inclusive. While this effect works largely through the impact of paid work on women's voice and agency, our earlier research in Bangladesh suggests that the effect is strongest and most consistent when women have access to better paid and regular work outside the home. Yet in Bangladesh, as in much of South Asia, women are largely absent from these forms of work. Our research sets out to explore the various factors that can help to expand and improve women's labour market options with a view to working closely with those who are in a position to act on the practical implications of the research. Because of important commonalites in the cultural norms that restrict women's labour force participation across South Asia, we believe that our findings will have a wider relevance. Our aim is to move beyond the general insights on women's labour market behaviour documented in the academic literature to a more detailed analysis of the interaction between individual choice and constraints of various kinds at both household level and in the wider institutional and political context. While some of these constraints are likely to be more intractable than others, addressing those that are amenable to public action may serve to undermine the more resilient constraints over time.

The primary beneficiaries of our research will be those women in Bangladesh who would like to take up decent and productive employment, but are blocked by various constraints. In the longer run, it will be low-income households who will benefit since women's earning capacity is likely to contribute to poverty reduction. However, these benefits will depend very much on our capacity to engage with the various stakeholders who are in a position to act on our findings. We anticipate 3 constituencies for our research.

First, there will be a range of national-level stakeholders likely to be interested in our findings from both development and women's empowerment perspectives. These will include employers' associations, trade unions, labour organisations, women's groups, legal rights activists, local government officials, non-government organisations involved in promoting women's paid work and skills development, and local representatives of the international donor community, particularly ILO, DFID, the World Bank and UN Women. We will set up a small Reference Group drawn from this constituency at the outset to work with us throughout the project. We will work with the Group to engage with the wider constituency of national stakeholders through an inception workshop to be held in Dhaka within three months of starting the project. The aim will be to share our research objectives and seek advice on key questions that the research should address. We will also organise a workshop at the final stages to disseminate our findings and explore its practical implications for different groups of stakeholders.

Internationally, we would seek to engage with organisations that are interested in, or would benefit from, the policy implications of our findings: the ILO, WIEGO, SEWA, the World Bank, UN Women, DFID and other bilateral donors that have placed women's economic empowerment high on their agenda. A small Reference Group will be constituted from this group in order to provide advice and assist us in our efforts to disseminate relevant findings and recommendations.

Finally, we will seek to expand and strengthen the public constituency for women's economic empowerment in Bangladesh by using our media strategy to engage students and the general public in a wider debate to challenge cultural preconceptions about women's work and the widespread belief that their absence from the labour market is purely a matter of choice.
 
Description The primary objective of our project was to explore the interaction between cultural norms and economic incentives in shaping labor market behavior and how it differed between men and women from different social groups in Bangladesh. A secondary objective was to explore the impact of access to paid work on women's well-being and agency. The project was carried out in a number of stages. The first stage drew on data collected through a survey of 5198 women in 8 districts of Bangladesh in 2008 (as a part of an earlier project) with a view to exploring the key determinants of the labor market behavior of women from different socioeconomic groups and finalizing earlier work on the impact of access to paid work on women's empowerment. The second stage carried out qualitative interviews with a sub-sample of 80 women from the survey in order to explore the same questions in greater depth. The third stage was a survey in 2015 of those respondents from the earlier sample that we were able to track down, thereby creating a panel data set, along with a survey of 2600 male household heads drawn randomly from the same districts. In the fourth stage, we carried out qualitative interviews with around 80 women who were part of our earlier qualitative sample and 40 men from the same locations. We also carried out qualitative interviews with a range of employers to explore how they explained their demand for male or female labor.
Key quantitative findings: the survey of women
Our analysis of the 2008 census of all women aged 15+ who lived in our study villages (giving a total of 35, 494 women) found that, despite using the same definition of the extended labor force as used by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in the official Labor Force Surveys (in turn based on ILO definition), we estimated a much higher rates of female labor force participation than reported by the BBS: whereas the BBS estimated a rate of 30% using a 7 day reference period, our estimates were 67% using the same reference period. The main reason for the divergence lay in our ability to better capture home-based paid and unpaid economic activity than the BBS. Discussions with BBS staff allowed us to ascertain the main reasons for the discrepancy. These included:

- the tendency on the part of BBS officials to 'adapt' the ILO questions to perceived local reality. Our survey team stayed faithful to the ILO definition
- the larger number of respondents covered per BBS enumerator compared to our survey team
- source of information on women's work provided to enumerators: we asked women themselves while the BBS enumerators spoke to the household head who clearly under-reported women's home-based activity .

Preliminary analysis of the 2008 survey had suggested that women in outside paid work were likely to report greater voice and agency as measured by a range of indicators than the economically inactive, with these findings most consistently positive for women in formal/semi-formal waged work. We finalized and published this finding as a journal article this year. This led us to explore why more women did not opt to work outside the home. We first drew on the 2008 survey to explore the factors that led women into different kinds of activities.
We used a regression technique which allowed us to jointly estimate selection into the labour force and, for those in the labour force, selection into particular categories of work. The more inclusive estimates of female labor force participation provided by our survey meant that the usual determinants of female labor force participation reported in the Bangladesh literature (such as education, household wealth, marital status) did not prove significant in explaining participation rates. Instead, these variables proved relevant in predicting the kind of labor market activity that women were engaged in: we distinguished between formal waged work, informal waged work, self-employment outside the home, home-based self-employment, home-based expenditure saving work and economic inactivity.

Our analysis suggested that, as in the past, divorced, separated and widowed women and women from the lowest wealth terciles were more likely to work in casual waged work outside the home. This was poorly paid, irregular and carried out in conditions of hardship. The presence of women in this form of work reflected their poverty, very often linked to absence of inadequacy of male earnings, and as such could be seen as a 'distress sale' of labour with limited transformative potential for women's lives. Change was evident in the significant percentage of young, single women, particularly those with post-secondary education, who had taken up better-paid, formal or semi-formal work outside the home. Most of these women worked in export-oriented garment factories, private, NGOs and community-based services and thus more likely to be working in response to economic opportunity rather than economic distress In addition, 'connectivity' of various kinds, such as ownership of a mobile phone and household electricity, along with female migration, were also associated with paid work outside the home, again suggesting a response to opportunity rather than the pressure of poverty.

On the other hand, the fact that the majority of women in our sample were involved in rearing cattle, livestock and particularly poultry, mainly within the home, as either a market-oriented or expenditure saving activity, reflected the widespread use of micro-finance to invest in this form of enterprise. The widespread availability of micro-finance was therefore part of the explanation for why so many women worked at home. But cultural norms also clearly played a role. First of all, being married, having children under 5 along with primary responsibility for care and household work were all associated with working within the home. Secondly, we found that women who expressed support for traditional ideas about women's gender roles, including the desirability of norms of female seclusion, were more likely to work within the home. And thirdly, while religion per se did not appear to differentiate women's participation rates, women who wore burkah/hijab and hence could be considered more religious, were more likely, controlling for other factors, work from home.

The survey data also offered information on women's stated preferences for different kinds of work. It suggested that most women, particularly those already working at home but also those in daily wage labour, expressed a preference for work that could be carried out within the home. The least desirable forms of work were domestic labour followed by informal wage labour in or outside agriculture. The main reasons given for their most preferred forms of work was precisely that it could be carried out at home, suggesting an active desire to conform to cultural norms or carry out their domestic responsibilities. However, the main reasons given for their aversion to most forms of work outside the home related to the disapproval they faced from their community for any perceived departure from cultural norms, to the desire to avoid working alongside men and to the demeaning nature of some of this work. In other words, rather than an active desire to work at home because of the internalization of gender norms, women's concentration in home-based work also reflected a response to the external pressure exercised by the community and the difficult and demeaning nature of wage opportunities that characterised female segments of the labour market. There were additional factors that contributed to women's preference for working at home. Women working outside the home were more likely to report adverse work-related effects on health; women in waged work were more likely to report harassment at work; and women in informal waged work were also least likely to express dissatisfaction with their work and work environment.
Analysis of the 2015 female labor force survey suggested similar results but we did find some shifts across work categories. Preliminary analysis of the newly created panel data set was use to examine determinants of women's transitions over time from one category of work to another. As a first step, we generated a descriptive transition matrix that maps women's labour market movements (or, in certain cases, lack of movement) from 2008 to 2015. Given the prominence of the inside/outside divide in shaping women's expressed labour market preferences, we have so far focused on two related transitions: women who moved from work located within the home to work outside and women who moved from paid work outside the home to work within the home. Probit estimates suggest that changes in marital status and household composition (e.g. a new child), a range of cultural factors, joining an NGO or association, and indicators of outside connectivity (e.g. getting a phone of one's own) affected transitions in both directions although the effects are not symmetrical across the two types. We are in the process of refining these empirical models to include a two-step probit model incorporating selection dynamics that looks at the factors that influence the type of work women did at the beginning of the period and which affect the likelihood that they subsequently transitioned to a different type of work at the end of the period.

Key quantitative findings: the survey of men
We have also analysed our male survey. After some experimentation, we found that the most relevant work categories for men were formal wage employment, informal wage employment, agricultural self-employment and non-agricultural self-employment. Around 57% of the male sample were in self-employment (similar to government estimates), 24% in informal wage employment and 12% in formal wage employment.
As 99% of our male respondents were economically active, we used logistics regression analysis to analyse their labour market behaviour. Education, particularly secondary education, household electricity and proximity to paved roads all increased selection into formal waged employment as did father's secondary education. Household assets like cultivable land, cattle and poultry increased the probability of agricultural self-employment while NGO membership and access to loans increased likelihood of off-farm self-employment. Household asset-poverty and experience of food shortage increased selection into informal waged work and reduced the likelihood of other forms of work. These patterns suggest that selection into informal waged work was associated with the absence of other alternatives for both men and women. In both cases, it was work undertaken by those from the poorest households and with least education. Education, including paternal education, assets of various kinds and access to credit all enabled men to avoid this form of work. Marital status had some influence on employment patterns with married men more likely to be in informal waged work and less likely to be in self-employment. However, numbers of young children and responsibility for care and household work had no bearing on male employment nor did adherence to traditional gender norms. Religion had some influence: Muslims were more likely than Hindus to be wage labourers while Hindus were more likely to be in non-agricultural self-employment, most often in caste-based artisanal occupations like weaving, pottery, carpentry, barber, sweet making. As might be expected, men in informal wage labour reported the least satisfaction with their work and working environment and were most likely to report adverse health effects. The most and least preferred forms of employment reported by men revealed interesting insights into their aspirations and concerns. Those in formal employment were more likely than any other group to express a preference for such work. Much lower percentages of the other categories expressed such a preference suggesting limited capacity to aspire to such jobs. However, the most preferred occupation reported by all categories was some kind of non-agricultural business: far fewer preferred farming as an occupation. Financial considerations featured prominently followed by the fact that the work was not difficult or demanding. The least preferred occupations were driving rickshaws and daily wage labour. The main reasons for their aversion reflected the physical demands of the work followed its low status and demeaning conditions. For men, as for women, intangible considerations relating to status and respect played an important role in shaping their labour market preferences.

Key qualitative findings
Analysis of the two rounds of qualitative interviews with our sub-sample of women provided further insights into women's labour market behaviour. In particular, it provided a deeper understanding of their aversion to work outside the home, elaborating on some of the answers given in survey. What emerged very clearly from our interviews was the extent to which the pressure to remain within the home reflected cultural norms about women's bodies and sexuality, as expressed by members of the community and internalized by many of the women themselves. These played a powerful role in restricting their labour market choices and in shaping their behaviour when they move outside the home.
While it was mainly women who worked outside the home who reported the experience of sexual harassment, the fear of such harassment influenced the behaviour of a much wider range of women, shaping and restricting the range of life choices and life chances available to them, including the range of labour market options that they perceived to be available to them. The rise of a particularly conservative form of Islam in recent decades, one that pays particular attention to women's behaviour in the public domain, was referred to by many of our respondents as a further constraint on their behaviour. It seems evident that the increasing numbers of women wearing hijab/burkah (documented by our panel survey) reflected rising religiosity, but it also enabled many of them to move more freely in the public domain by signalling their compliance with norms of female virtue
The qualitative data also confirmed some of the findings from the survey. While many women with education would have considered working for the government or an NGO, considered to be 'respectable' jobs, there were simply not enough of these jobs available. The alternative of working in the fields, roadsides or factories which brought them into contact with strange men was considered unacceptable for respectable women. Other factors which contributed to curtailing women's economic options was the need to pay bribes for government-generated work, whether it was in the administration or in public works programmes. At the same time, the qualitative interviews suggests that cross-sectional surveys usually fail to capture the numbers of women who have worked outside the home at some point in time. While at any point in time, the majority of women worked at home, many had worked outside the home at younger ages, particularly before they got married. The qualitative data highlighted some of the ways in which women sought to redefine the boundaries between 'inside' and 'outside' work to legitimize their departure from traditional norms. In addition, while our survey did collect questions on female migration, it failed to capture that many of these women were migrating to the Middle East as a result of a new government agreement with Saudi Arabia. We are in the process of analysing the qualitative interviews with the sub-sample of male survey respondents and employers and explore the extent to which cultural considerations influence their choice of employment options.
As reported earlier, the ESRC-DFID funding was used to cover some of my time and those of colleagues in Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Development in a project funded by Volkswagen Foundation into the impact of the Accord/Alliance multi-stakeholder agreements that were put in place after the disaster at Rana Plaza. Our team's focus was on the perspectives of men and women workers in the Bangladesh export garment industry to wages and working conditions in the industry in the aftermath of Rana Plaza. We found that significant signs of progress in many aspects of working conditions, including written contracts, permanent jobs, training, health and safety, overtime pay - though women continued to be more vulnerable than men. However, the agreements did not appear to have made much impact on some important aspects of working conditions: basic wages (minimum wages had gone up but not as a result of the agreements), compulsory overtime, abuse of workers and the right to organize through trade unions. While workers themselves tended to blame employers, separate interviews with employers suggested that they were facing pressures from buyers which partly explained these continuities - in particular buyers did not share in the costs of remediation and relocation required by the agreements, were reducing the prices that they were offering managers as well as the delivery times - putting greater pressure on managers to meet orders. One unexpected finding that came out of the research was that while there was very little trade union presence in the factories, progress had been made in setting up Workers' Participation Committees - The factories where these committees were described by workers as operating efficiently were also the factories where most progress was reported as a result of the multi-stakeholder initiatives. The qualitative interviews we carried out as part of this research was very useful in interpreting our findings - they could not be incorporated into the working paper from this project but were incorporated into the version that was published in Development and Change (Febuary 2020).
Exploitation Route Our study suggests new ways of classifying male and female economic activity that are likely to be meaningful, at least in the South Asia context, for future research into labor market behavior. These capture the most relevant distinctions between different kinds of activity - particularly for women: the distinction in women's activities between paid and unpaid work, formal and informal, wage and self-employment and working within and outside the home served to differentiate very different categories of women in terms of education, socioeconomic background and geographical location and suggested different determinants of selection into these activities. The incorporation of non-traditional variables in the quantitative analysis - such as variables capturing norms and values and perceived labour market choices - will be an important contribution to existing models of labour market behavior. The pairing of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and the iterative way in which the results of the qualitative analysis feed into the design of the quantitative research and vice versa, was another important methodological contribution. The quantitative data helped to clarify the strength and significance of empirical associations between labour market behaviour and its likely determinants while the qualitative components provided deeper and more nuanced insights into the issues explored and improve the interpretation of the findings of all parts of the project. We hope that the project demonstrates how a dialogue between academics who restrict themselves to quantitative approaches and those that primarily use qualitative techniques can enhance the effectiveness of the research.

As we have suggested, our findings about the profound impact of the experience and fear of sexual harassment in shaping the contours of women's lives was an unexpected finding. We propose to build on this finding in future research as well as to engage in advocacy around how to make public space safer for women. We believe that our findings have major relevance to other contexts in which cultural norms restrict women's mobility in the public domain and curtail their labour market options. We see considerable scope for more comparative work across these contexts. The findings from our project has informed the questionnaire and methodology we have adopted in our research in West Bengal under ESRC/DFID funding so that there will be a strong basis for comparative work.

I was invited to participate in an international conference in Dhaka being organised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Association to discuss the industry's responses to Rana Plaza. As a result of links made through our meetings with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Association and other key stakeholders in the Bangladesh garment industry, my co-investigator and I are now involved in a multi-country research project (funded by Volkswagen Foundation) investigating the impact of the Accord/Alliance agreement with between global buyers and Bangladeshi manufacturers which starts at the beginning of 2016. We will be drawing on the qualitative research we will be carrying out as part of the ES/L0054841/1 award to supplement some of the findings of that project which does not have a qualitative component on workers' views.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description Due to the untimely death of my principal co-investigator, Simeen Mahmud, at the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, many of our plans to work with Bangladeshi policy makers had to be abandoned as we did not have anyone else of her seniority in the Institute to carry the work forward. This included an overview paper for the Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh on gender and the economy which would have drawn on our survey results. James Heintz, our co-investigator from the University of Massachusets, did however draw on our findings in work he did for the IDRC GROW research programme. He was asked to draw out the main findings on labor markets yielded by this body of research and to provide recommendations to strengthen future research to be funded by IDRC on this topic. He referenced our work to highlight the relevance of cultural norms in understanding labor market behaviour. We also presented findings from our study of the impact of the Accord/Alliance multi-stakeholder initiatives at an international conference organized by
First Year Of Impact 2001
Sector Education
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Lead firm, supplier and institutional responses to the Rana Plaza disaster 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Management
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a collaboration between five universities (Free University, Berlin; University of New South Wales; University of Goteborg; London School of Economics and Political Science; and BRAC University. The project focuses on two major multi-stakeholder initiatives, the Accord and Alliance, that were signed by lead buyers and brands sourcing clothing from Bangladesh in the aftermath of Rana Plaza. The aim of the agreements was to improve awareness and practice around health and safety in the factories supplying clothing to signatory firms. Our research project explores how different stakeholders, including the global buyers and brands that signed the agreements, the garment factories that supply them, the workers in these factories and secondary stakeholders such as government and unions, view the implications and impacts of these agreements. is exploring how lead firms that source orders to Bangladesh, suppliers involved in the Accord/Alliance agreements and the Bangladesh government have responded to the Rana Plaza disaster in terms of improving governnce in the supply chain. It will also explore how workers perceive these changes. I will be working with the Bangladesh team on the management and workers surveys and liasing between the Bangladesh team and the other partners.
Collaborator Contribution Simeen Mahmud was Principal Investigator from the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development and worked with Lopita Haq, both members of our Choice, Constraint and gender dynamics in labour markets in Bangladesh research team. I was Principal Investigator from the LSE. We worked closely together in conducting a survey of 1500 workers, carrying out detailed life history interviews with 20 women from the industry and 8 Focus Group Discussions with men and women associated with the surveyed factories. The aim of our research was to investigate and understand the impacts of the Accord and Alliance agreements on wages, working conditions and workers perceptions. The life history interviews were funded by the DFID-ESRC project and will be analyzed now that the survey results have been published as a working paper as well as submitted to a peer reviewed journal for publication.
Impact Naila Kabeer, Lopita Haq and Munshi Sulaiman (2019) Multi-stakeholder initiatives in Bangladesh after Rana Plaza: global norms and workers' perspectives. LSE International Development Working Paper No. 19-193 (http://www.lse.ac.uk/international-development/Assets/Documents/PDFs/Working-Papers/WP193.pdf) Naila Kabeer, Lopita Haq and Munshi Sulaiman(2019) Multi-stakeholder initiatives in Bangladesh after Rana Plaza: workers' perspectives (submitted for publication to Development and Change) Schüßler, E., Frenkel, S., Ashwin, S., Kabeer, N., Egels-Zandén, N. Huq, L., Alexander, R., Oka, C., Lohmeyer, N., Rahman, S., & Rahman, K. M. (2019): Changes in the Governance of Garment Global Production Networks: Lead Firm, Supplier and Institutional Responses to the Rana Plaza Disaster (Version 1.1), Garment Supply Chain Governance Interim Report January 2019. Sarah Ashwin, Naila Kabeer and Rachel Alexander 'After Rana Plaza: the politics of sharing' https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2018/12/17/after-rana-plaza-the-politics-of-sharing/
Start Year 2016
 
Description Blog on World Bank website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This blog was called 'What does it take a woman in rural Bangladesh to break out of poverty?' and was posted on the World Bank South Asia site. It was based on a case study of one of the more entrepreneurial women in our study and noted how a great deal of her efforts to engage in livelihood activities for her family would have eluded conventional labor force data. It was re-posted on the LSE South Asia Centre website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/what-does-it-take-woman-rural-bangladesh-break-out-...
 
Description Blog on LSE Business Review Taking #MeToo into global supply chains 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This blog, co-authored with Sarah Ashwin, was an attempt to highlight the problem of sexual harassment within global supply chains, which includes the export garment factories in Bangladesh from which some of our respondents in both quantitative and qualitative components of our research were drawn. It was also an attempt to draw attention to efforts to address this problem, most successfully by the Better Works program. I was approached by the Business section of a university publisher to edit a book on this topic but unfortunately could not accept.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2018/02/05/taking-metoo-into-global-supply-chains/?from_serp=1
 
Description Blog on World Bank website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The blog, titled Measuring women's work: more vexing than you think, was authored by myself and my co-applicant from Bangladesh and was posted in May 2016 on the World Bank website, Lets talk development, hosted by the Bank's Chief Economist, and dealt with measurement issues raised by our research in West Bengal and Bangladesh (http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/measuring-women-s-work-more-vexing-you-might-think). It was widely downloaded. In addition, versions of the blog were reproduced on the LSE Engendering website (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/gender/2016/06/13/measuring-womens-work-more-vexing-than-you-might-think/) and on the website of the International Association of Feminist Economics (http://feministeconomicsposts.iaffe.org/2016/06/02/the-persisting-challenges-of-measuring-womens-work-a-bangladesh-story/) while the Bangladesh section of the blog was reproduced on the Open Society Foundations website (https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/are-we-undercounting-work-done-women). I was also interviewed about my research on Bangladesh and West Bengal in a video posted on the LSE's South Asia Centre website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/measuring-women-s-work-more-vexing-you-might-think
 
Description Blog on websites of Open Society Foundations, who have program on Economic Justice for women, and Ms Magazine, International Women's Day 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact One of the key findings coming out of our Bangladesh research is the extent to which both the experience but also the fear, of sexual harassment not only limit the kind of labor market options that women are prepared to consider but also the extent to which it shapes the course of their life trajectory and their ability to move freely in the public domain. A great deal of the present focus of the public discussion of sexual harassment has been focused on work place experiences. The findings from Bangladesh, and from South Asia more generally, suggest that this fear affects women's choice,agency and capabilities over a substantial part of their life course. I would like to add these considerations to the public discussion on this issue. It is too early to know what impact it may have but I know that since it was published yesterday, it has been 'liked' by 223 people on the Open Society website and shared by 23, liked by 27 people on the Ms Magazine website and retweeted by 17.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.facebook.com/OpenSocietyFoundations/posts/10156187050164921
 
Description Blog written for World Bank website drawing on our work 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The blog, titled Measuring women's work: more vexing than you think, was authored by myself and my co-applicant from Bangladesh and was posted in May 2016 on the World Bank website, Lets talk development, hosted by the Bank's Chief Economist, and dealt with measurement issues raised by our research in West Bengal and Bangladesh (http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/measuring-women-s-work-more-vexing-you-might-think). It was widely downloaded. In addition, versions of the blog were reproduced on the LSE Engendering website (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/gender/2016/06/13/measuring-womens-work-more-vexing-than-you-might-think/) and on the website of the International Association of Feminist Economics (http://feministeconomicsposts.iaffe.org/2016/06/02/the-persisting-challenges-of-measuring-womens-work-a-bangladesh-story/) while the Bangladesh section of the blog was reproduced on the Open Society Foundations website (https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/are-we-undercounting-work-done-women). I was also interviewed about the work in a video posted on the LSE's South Asia Centre website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/measuring-women-s-work-more-vexing-you-might-think
 
Description Contribution to ESRC-DFID Power of Partnerships conference on findings from Bangladesh research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I participated in the ESRC-DFID Power of Partnership: Research to Alleviate Poverty conference (3-5th December) where I chaired a plenary panel on the politics and practicalities of evidence which addressed some of the tensions between academic and policy-oriented research. I also presented on the qualitative findings from our Bangladesh study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at the House of Commons 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact My co-investigator from Bangladesh participated in a day long event held at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex as part of an IDS/DFID Impact Initiative on Bangladesh which brought together researchers funded by DFID to do research on Bangladesh. My co-investigator presented a brief summary of our findings as part of an organized Parliamentary Event on the 28th Feb 2017 which was chaired by Rushanara Ali (MP ) and attended by a number of other MPs interested in Bangladesh
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation of findings at conference of the International Association of Feminist Economists 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a presentation of preliminary findings to other academics as well as to practitioners interested in the area in order to obtain feedback on our methodology and findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation of findings at the Economic Research Forum, Cairo 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was an opportunity to present out findings to a meeting of policy makers and practitioners interested in Gender Equality in the MENA region which also wanted to learn from other regions with similar obstacles to women's labour force participation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4tOQsmhgwo&index=10&list=PL7wPmMd4LnDBW9ZHVOSGnlgcIRpLftamb
 
Description Presentation of preliminary findings: World Bank, Washington 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I was invited by Dr. Lucia Hamner (who is on the project advisory group) to present a paper at the Gender and Development Seminar Series at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, jointly organized by the Gender Team and the cross-cutting Division on Jobs in March 2015. It was chaired by the Senior Regional Advisor for the South Asia Region with discussants drawn from the Jobs divison and the team leader for the social inclusion group. It was attended by staff from the Bank as well as practitioners and students from the Washington area. It was also livestreamed and so reached a wider audience of interested stakeholders. We agreed that one of our team would return when our research was further advanced in order to provide an update on our findings and consider its policy implications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/619672/uiconf_id/24449191/entry_id/1_...
 
Description Stakeholder Workshop (choice and constraint) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Informed a range of stakeholders in our research about our proposed agenda and a commitment on their part to participate in future meetings to report on our findings.

Invitation by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Association to participate in their forthcoming Dhaka Apparel Summit on Dec. 7-9th 2014
Invitation by the Institute of Microfinance, Bangladesh to deliver the keynote for their international conference on Gender and Women's Empowerment. I presented a paper on what we know about the empowerment potential of paid work in Bangladesh.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description contribution to ESRC-DFID Research for Policy and Practice special newsletter on women, work and social protection 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a contribution to an ESRC-DFID Research for Policy and Practice collection of papers on Women, work and social protection (March, 2019). Our contribution to this summarized the findings from our quantitative and qualitative research, focusing on the social stratification of labour market opportunities for women, the factors which had made access to economic activities easier as well as the policy measures which enabled entry into better forms of work and exit out of worse forms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/bitstream/handle/123456789/14373/R4PP_WomenSocProtection_Online....