Challenging the entrepreneurial discourse around women home-based workers’ empowerment

RMIT Researchers

  • Dr Annie Delaney
  • Assoc Prof Afreen Huq

Project Description

This project investigates home-based workers in Bangladesh. Home-based workers in developing countries are frequently being labelled as entrepreneurs by policy makers and development practitioners. Empowerment and entrepreneurial discourses are being applied to women workers in what appears to be increasingly narrowing the scope of what is considered empowerment. The project seeks to challenge this notion of empowerment as measured by economic conditions alone to consider the broader social, political and power relations that impact on women home-based workers. Conventional neoliberal entrepreneurship discourse freely conflates empowerment and performativity, the capacity of women to develop greater agency over their own lives and their incorporation into an economic regime with predetermined roles labelled empowerment. The project will analyse the development discourse on entrepreneurship and economic performativity in these terms—looking to understand the characteristics of empowerment concerning two types of garment home-based workers in Bangladesh, the first group work for a fair-trade global garment supply chain and the other group work for a domestic garment supply chain.


Labour in Supply Chains

Key Words

supply chains, homework, garments, gender

Funding Sources

School of Management

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Acknowledgement of country

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