The role of ethical fashion in preventing violence against women in Bangladesh

While employment in the garment industry is claimed to offer Bangladeshi women a pathway out of spaces of domestic violence, women in garment factories still experience significant levels of physical and sexual abuse. The rise of ‘ethical fashion’ enterprises presents an alternative route to women’s social, cultural and economic empowerment.

This project will examine the role of ethical fashion enterprises in Bangladesh in the primary prevention of violence against women by (1) investigating how such enterprises contribute to increased respect and recognition for women’s labour, and (2) asking whether the benefits of ethical fashion are individual and localised ones, or whether they contribute to a broader, systematic infrastructure for the prevention of violence against women.

This project will conduct interviews and short-term ethnographies with ethical fashion enterprises in Bangladesh to evaluate the impacts of women’s participation in these activities.

Research Team

  • Rimi Khan, chief investigator from Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Firdous Azim, project advisory committee from the Department of English and Humanities BRAC University, Bangladesh
  • Alex Devine, project advisory committee from the Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Ben Neville, project advisory committee from the School of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Australia