Compliance codes and women workers’ (mis)representation and (non)recognition in the apparel industry of Bangladesh

Fahreen Alamgir, Ozan N. Alakavuklar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how women workers in Bangladeshi garment factories are misrecognised and not represented in the apparel industry through focussing on two enacted collective compliance measure agreements adopted by global brands to improve safety and working conditions. Our paper draws on Amartya Sen’s rights-based approach to capabilities as a means of explaining the narratives of women trade union leaders and the experiences of women factory workers’ status in their workplace and in the industry. Specifically, we examine how a strategy of misrepresentation and nonrecognition of the women factory workers is being played out in the multi-stakeholder initiatives of compliance codes which leads to a lack of consideration for the basic human rights of the women workers. Our paper contributes to the discussion regarding how the politics of ethical procurement becomes visible through an exclusionary approach in managing the apparel global production network (GPN) despite the favourable consensus regarding the compliance codes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295–310
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bangladesh
  • Compliance
  • Compliance codes
  • Ethics
  • Recognition
  • Representation
  • Rights
  • Women workers

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