The rapidly expanding sector of garment manufacturing for export is unusual for Bangladesh in that it employs young, unmarried women in large numbers. This paper examines data from a study on garment workers in Bangladesh to explore the implications of work for the early socialization of young women. For the first time young women are given an alternative to lives where they move directly from childhood into adulthood through early marriage and childbearing. Work creates a period of transition as contrasted with the abrupt assumption of adult roles at very young ages that marriage and childbearing mandate. It is argued that this longer transition creates a period of adolescence for young women working in the garment sector and that some aspects of adolescence have strong implications for the long-term reproductive health of these young women.
Amin, Sajeda, Ian Diamond, Ruchira Tabassum Naved, and Margaret Newby. 1997. "Transition to adulthood of female factory workers: Some evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Division Working Paper no. 102. New York: Population Council. Version of record: https://doi.org/10.2307/172158