60 Million workers power global garment industry. 80% of these workers are women.
This statistic is not a coincidence. This industry is notorious for its sickening working conditions, alongside low wages, forced overtime and unsafe conditions. Luxury fashion brands such as Prada and Fendi support this exploitation, as well as other Major western brands that pay Indian garment workers 11p an hour!
Women working in such conditions are often refused maternity leave, child care and safe travel to work. These violations are an example of gender based violence. These brands CHOOSE to source from countries that exploit the women labour force, as labour laws are weak and workers have little opportunities to organise in order to make sure they can enjoy their basic rights.
This leaves women to bear the burden of domestic work and child care, this leaves them little time to organise their work load and fight for their rights. Reinforcing the stereotype image of women as meek beings, due to their gender. If they were to speak up for themselves, it could make their situations much worse, as they have a lot to lose without a job.
Employers take advantage of cultural stereotypes, in which these women have no choice but to accept and follow. For an example being able to complete productive and reproductive and domestic responsibilities such as cleaning, cooking and childcare; restricts women's opportunities to seek other employment. Being seen as weak and pliant allows them to be discriminated and abused by their employees.
Women globally in this industry are subject to verbal, physical and sexual abuse. This works in favour of employees as they have input fear into these women, that if they do something ‘out of line’ they are feared by being assaulted or raped on their way home from work late at night.