"Our Backs Are Against the Wall": The Story of a Bangladeshi Woman Garment Worker in the COVID-19 'New Normal'

Aysha Siddika, Anita Hammer*, Peter Lund-Thomsen, Marie Vahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This article introduces Rayat, a woman garment worker in Bangladesh. It traces how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated precariousness in the garment value chain and deepened the fragility of Rayat and other garment workers on the frontline. In the article, Rayat explains how her work, household and livelihood changed in response to COVID-19. Her story highlights the importance of contextual influences, distinct industry dynamics and temporal factors, within both workplace and domestic spheres. In complex ways, these dynamics shaped how workers were positioned in the value chain, exploited in the labour process and constrained in their agency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: Dec 1 2023 (accepted version), published online April 28, 2024 (publishers version).


  • COVID-19
  • Garment value chain
  • Labour agency
  • Labour process
  • Livelihood
  • Social reproduction
  • Workplace

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