Working Womens' Stories

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

For Mother's Day, ILRF launched an intimate look into the lives of working mothers around the world. These stories are just a few voices among the millions of women that make our clothes and prepare our food in order to support their families. ILRF would like to graciously thank our partners around the world that have spent time listening to these women tell their stories.

Learn more about the working mother (s)heroes:

  • Xiomara, Honduran shrimp farmworker   New!
  • Karen, Honduran melon farmworker   New!
  • Digna, Honduran shrimp farmworker   New!
  • Maria, Peruvian asparagus farmworker   New!
  • Sarmijem, Indonesian domestic worker   New!
  • Rosemary, Peruvian asparagus farmworker
  • Malika, Pakistani soccer ball factory worker
  • Moni, Bangladeshi garment worker
  • Mrs. Azra, Pakistani brick kiln worker
  • Elvira, Philippine garment worker
  • Jolene, South African fruit farmworker
  • Babra, Yalda, & Ghazala, Pakistani garment factory employees
  • Maritza, Puerto Rican garment worker\
  • Amanda, Colombian cut-flower worker and union leader

 

One story in particular represents how women around the world have stood up and demanded a change in their workplace. Learn more about Amanda C. who is a cut flower plantation worker in Colombia.

Unskilled women workers have entered export-processing industries throughout the developing world at an alarming rate. Women overwhelmingly occupy the lowest paying jobs, producing our clothes, agricultural products and other luxuries for export to the US.

As the free trade model replicates worldwide, multinational corporations exploit increasingly weak and “flexible” labor laws. The result is that women workers are systematically denied their rights to regular pay and regular working hours; equal pay for equal work; permanent contracts; safe and non-hazardous work environments; sexual harassment; discrimination and freedom of association. Labor law “reforms” have denied women access to social, maternity and health benefits and women are increasingly subject to subcontracting schemes that blatantly undermine these rights. In light of the global economic crisis, precarious employment has increased, leading women to be among the majority of the newly unemployed or underemployed.

This project could not have been possible without the support of so many dedicated partners that ILRF is fortunate to have around the world.