14 May 2013 – Press Release

The Graduate Women International calls on the

Bangladesh Government to legislate strongly in favour of women workers’ safety.

The Graduate Women International (GWI) extends its profound condolences to the families of the victims of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013. The Rana Plaza tragedy must be a catalyst for change. GWI calls for increased efforts to provide every single worker in Bangladesh with a safe work place, and to ensure workers’ rights and representation.


To this end, GWI fully supports the conclusions of the ILO’s high level mission to Bangladesh.

  • Improve protection, in law and practice, for the fundamental rights to freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, as well as occupational safety and health.
  • Implement the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety in the RMG Industry in Bangladesh. The Plan should include the structural integrity of buildings to improve health, occupational and structural safety.
  • Assess by the end of 2013 the structural building safety and fire safety of all active export-oriented ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh.
  • Launch a skills and retraining programme for workers who sustained injuries in the recent tragedy.


GWI is committed to human rights and advocates in particular for women’s human rights. As these Bangladeshi textile workers are largely female, their appalling work conditions are a form of discrimination and in breach of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as well as Article 23 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights:

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

For more information you can contact:

Contact Person:Nina Joyce

Tel: +41 22 731 23 80

Email: nj@gwi.org

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