Shahara's Story

Shahara Khatun, 28, makes blazers in a factory in Gazipur, a district of Dhaka. With her income she supports her parents, husband and two sons. She had to leave the comfort of family in their home village 4 hours away, to find a job that could provide for them after her husband became ill and could no longer work to support the family. When she first started at the factory 7 years ago, conditions were rough. She did not get paid on time, she didn’t have paid leave, and they couldn’t talk to management to address problems. After joining a trade union supported by USAID, Shahara learned about workers’ rights and labor laws. Her union elected her as the general secretary and together they negotiated better working conditions at the factory. Now, they can discuss issues with management, they get paid on-time, they have daycare at the factory to keep their children, and they have scheduled leave. With her income, she supports her eldest son’s education and has bought a plot of land next to her parents’ house where she’ll build a new house for her family.

Learn more in our Medium post: Remembering the Workers of Rana Plaza