ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Miracle Worker or Womanmachine?

Bangladesh's successful entry into the world apparel market has been predicated on the deployment of a predominantly female industrial labour force. Bangladesh can be seen as a quintessentially global site - where the language of public discourse is dominated by a developmentalist vocabulary of civil society - human rights, women's development, citizenship. This essay points out that reducing the lives of Bangladeshi garment workers to a local variation on either the universally subordinated woman or the global worker exploited by capital obscures the implications of work for these women. Shifting the frame of analysis to a more experiential level allows us to overcome the more exclusionary aspects of an ostensibly culture neutral human rights discourse and offers a more complex lens with which to examine the conditions and contours of resistance.

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