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Factory manned by women breaking the mold in the manufacturing sector

  • Published at 11:49 pm July 11th, 2018
  • Last updated at 04:27 pm July 16th, 2018
Women making fans  at the Golden Sun Ltd factory in Chittagong Mehedi Hasan
Women making fans at the Golden Son Ltd factory in Chittagong Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

However, the success of women in the industry sector is no-longer limited to the RMG sector, as many female employees are working on par with their male counterparts in other important industries

In the context of Bangladesh, the RMG sector is the industry leader for employing female workers, helping them achieve financial stability, and boosting their empowerment. 

However, the success of women in the industry sector is no-longer limited to the RMG sector, as many female employees are working on par with their male counterparts in other important industries. 

One such industry, where women are making their mark, is the electric manufacturing sector.

The Dhaka Tribune visited one such factory, owned by a joint venture company named Golden Son Ltd, where 90% of the workers are women. 

The company, established in 2003 at the Anwara area of Chittagong, houses its offices and the factory 688,000 sqft . 

During a visit to the factory on January 6 and 7, the correspondent observed a row of skilled young women assembling fan motors on the factory’s 12th floor. The factory also manufactures electric motor parts.

Working on a production line, the female workers are doing every task by themselves—from making copper wire coils to soldering the motor wiring. Another team of female workers were busy testing finished motors and repairing the faulty ones.

A few female workers, capable of assembling a fan from basic parts, told the correspondent that they have been properly trained by the company engineer.

‘I gradually improved’

Sharmin Akhter, 22, is a resident of Koachnagar are in Chittagong, spoke of the struggles and how she learned to build and test electric motors. 

“I could not continue my studies after passing the 5th grade due to financial crisis. My father is a vegetable vendor, and at that time, he struggled to support our family. I decided to work in this industry a few years later,” Sharmin told the Dhaka Tribune.

Sharmin added that she knew a bit of sewing, but she joined an electric manufacturing company instead of a garment factory in search of a challenging profession.

When asked about the difficulty of her work, Sharmin said: “It was a bit difficult when I started, because my job demands pinpoint accuracy on measurements. But the company gave me training, and I gradually got better at my work.

“I make around Tk8,000 as a new operator, which I use to support my family and pay for the tuition of my younger siblings.”

Another worker, Shikol Baha, 20, was busy assembling electric switches. 

Speaking to the correspondent, Shikol said: “We continued to help each other during work after completion of the training. A person with practical experience was assigned to us when we started working in the factory.”

When asked about her peculiar choice of profession, the young worker pointed out that the experience of working at an electric company is vastly different than working at a RMG factory. 

“I have seen men doing this sort of work, such as soldering. Learning to solder or to build motors is challenging, and these skills will continue to serve me even if I become unemployed. I can make money by repairing electric products,” Shikol told the Dhaka Tribune. 

Adding that she can repair any electric product at home, this young professional said: “I make around Tk10,000 through overtime, and I am supporting my parents financially.”

‘We are bringing hope’

Responding to a query, company Chairman Amanda Lin said: “This venture is not about making money, but bringing hope to those who need it. Women are usually more patient, and they pay more attention to detail. They are also comparatively more productive.

“A working woman is an empowered woman, and she can better support her family through her profession.”

The company’s Managing Director Belal Ahmed said: “Bangladesh is home to a talented female workforce. They have proven that, with proper training and opportunity, female employees can work on par with their male counterparts.

“There is no need for the women of Bangladesh to go abroad as domestic help. It is evident that they have the capability to work in any industry here.”

Mentioning that this kind of factory is the first of its kind in Bangladesh, Belal further said: “The fans we are manufacturing here, are being sold in both domestic and international markets. A lot of women living in Anwara area are dependent on this factory for income.

“If the government launches an initiative to support more factories operating on this principal, it would significantly boost the empowerment of women in Bangladesh. The electric manufacturing sector would also become fully self dependant,” Belal opined.

He concluded by saying that the women of Bangladesh are talented, and urged everyone to support them instead of hindering their professional activities.