Women’s Work: Globalization’s Mixed Blessings

Women are generally preferred over men as workers in garment factories, presumably because of their "nimble fingers" and their perceived docility. In Cambodia and Bangladesh, an overwhelming majority of workers in garment factories are women. However, a study conducted by Oxfam International, a global relief agency, found that with multinational companies increasingly cutting down wages and worsening work conditions due to market competition, there is no job security, no benefits, and no way to work up the career ladder. In short, these jobs "do not offer a viable way out of poverty." Oxfam says the solution lies in better labor standards, and the World Bank has begun policy initiatives in this direction. With a per capita income of $ 280 a year, the wages of women garment factory workers are unenviable by developed world standards. And although these jobs do provide a much needed alternative to a rural economy, it should not give employers a license to do as they please. – YaleGlobal

Women's Work: Globalization's Mixed Blessings

Erika Kinetz
Saturday, February 21, 2004

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