EXPLAIN SOME OF THE SWEATSHOP LABOR OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES………….
According to Nicholas Kristof sweatshop labour refers to a poor working environment which takes place oftenly in countries with low standards of living or the developing world. The workers are usually paid very low wages for bulky work, they have poor safety standards, there is use of child labour and more often, the industry regulations are normally violated. In developed countries like U.S.A the U.S department of labour normally consider it as violation of laws which is subject to penalties or imprisonment of the employers.
Kristof and WuDunn (2010 pp 294) claim that sweatshops is a good thing in that they explain that in developing Countries like Ethiopia and Cambodia individuals benefit much from the sweatshops. I tend to agree with their connotation basing on the cases sited in their book. They say that China has been able to come out as a strong power due to sweatshops. China was one of the third world countries but the latest developments has drawn the country to greater scales of economic prosperity due to Sweatshops.Very many girls get into the factories in search of jobs instead of doing nothing. In most incidences the women are gang raped, beaten on daily basis, some are sold in brothels or forced to marry when they are still young. In the Middle East the women are stoned to death if they go against family wishes while in India they are burnt to death. Though these are horrible stories, the authors give us of incidences where some profiles women persevere the torture and manage to develop schools, hospitals and small businesses which they use as a channel to rise out of poverty and scale to greater heights. These women are the ones who in turn empower other women in similar scenarios to become independent. The authors describe a story of a girl from Pakistan who was molested by higher officials of which they expected her to go and commit suicide as per the village custom. Instead the girl applied for a redress which hit the then President Musharaf’s attention and she was compensated $8300. She began a school where she got education alongside her students. The facts she brought out haunted the President who in turn went for her mercilessly but the school is still going on yet the president is no more.
Kristof and WuDunn also describes a tale of an Ethiopian young girl suffering from Fistula on her first pregnancy; she went to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital where she was operated on but lacking the payments she stayed in the hospital to make beds and assist surgeon in their duties. She later on got the art of fistula operation and right now she can do the operation on her own. This brings out how adversaries experienced by women can be a stepping stone for them.
Krugman, Kristof and Noberg (Cato institute 2003 pp 222) all agree that without the sweat shops, many women will turn into prostitution, some will starve to death while others will resort to other types of criminal activities. The sweatshops provide much higher wages compared to the above conditions. The sweat shop gives developing countries an opportunity to develop into better economies, though some economists may be against this idea by proposing that to solve the menace consumers should not use products from these firms. The developing firms have got neither choice nor the power to refute the products since they are cheap and easily affordable.
However, sweatshops should not be encouraged in any country, they have numerous limitations. As pointed out by many authors they lower the dignity of women since their rights are largely violated. Mojtabai (2006, pp 62) opposes the idea of sweatshops as she identifies that it takes advantage of the poor due to their vulnerability. The author suggests solutions for the menace that corporate should not just be profit minded but they consider the community welfare. (Derber 2003 pp 78) argues that the workers should be given first priority before the profits. Giving poor working conditions to workers is just but lowering their dignity and being inhuman. (Featherstone 2007 pp 34) says that it is injustice for the existence of sweat shops. The author gives the stakeholders the power to stop this injustice to ensure a dependable and equitable society exists for all.
To avoid such injustices there should be intensive multinational corporations investing in the developing world to defend the workers against sweat shops. These MNC’s will ensure a good working condition for women and the rest of the labour force. As much as it many people may advocate for the sweatshops the labour laws, women rights and children rights must be respected accordingly. Many social organizations should stem up to build, institutions to empower women in the villages about their rights. The labour departments must do everything within their jurisdiction to ensure gender equality at the work place, all the labour regulations are met and no child is exploited for low wages.
Charles Derber, People before Profit, Picorder 2003
Farzin Mojtabai, Blood, sweat and Tears, Lulu.com 2007
Johan Noberg, in defence of Global Capitalism Cato institute 2003
Kristof, Nicholas D, and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity
For Women Worldwide, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Print
Liza Featherstone, Students against Sweatshops, 2002
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