Thursday, 8 March 2018

International Women's Day 2018



Happy International Women's Day! It's so great to see so many people celebrating and sharing inspiring stories and support for women all over the world. Although I feel it is really important to celebrate how far we have come as women and the difference we've made I really wanted to use this day to highlight an issue that is very close to my heart.

In the garment industry 80% of workers are women. This means the majority of clothes we buy on the high street are made by women. Women who are often not paid for months on end because the demand for cheap clothing means the factories cannot afford the make the garments at that price and pay a wage. When they are finally paid it is barely enough for one to live on never mind help these women to feed their families.

There is little or no safety regulations at all in these factories causing fatal accidents such as fires and collapsed buildings. These women are forced to work in an unsafe environment where the factory owners have little regard for their wellbeing or safety. Foremen in charge of the factory floor are nearly always men and sexual harassment, rape and abuse is a regular occurrence for the female garment workers. 

In Guangdong in China young women face 150 hours of overtime each month. 60% have no contract and 90% no access to social insurance. And this situation isn't unusual, you will see the same things happening in factories all over the world.

"it isn't enough just looking for quality in the products we buy, we must ensure that there is quality in the lives of the people who make them" - Orsola De Castro

Each time we buy cheap, fast fashion from the high street we are funding the abuse of thousands of women. This International Women's Day I wanted to highlight this issue, to encourage us all to stop buying into an industry that exploits the rights of women. The choices we make in how to spend our money have a profound effect on the lives of women all over the world. We need to stand together as women and commit to buying into a better future.

This day should be full of celebration and inspiration but also determination that we will continue to make this world a better place for every woman.

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1 comment

  1. I completely agree. Whilst it is important to celebrate the progress we have made, we must accept that there is still plenty for us to do going forward. Happy International Woman's Day to you!

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