Despite campaigns in developed and developing countries aimed at creating awareness and respect for women rights, their participation in employment remains low. International human rights fights for equality in men and women, their employment act says women should be given equal opportunities; it is of the opinion that at least a third of a company’s employees should be women.
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Sweatshops policies are some of the policies made in some countries to increase women employment to informal and formal sectors. This argumentative paper discusses why sweatshop labour opportunities for women in developing countries are better than no opportunities, or the limited opportunities, that are currently available to women in those countries.
One of the major reasons why men have been able to look down upon women is women lack of economical empowerment. They are left to depend on men for their livelihood. In Africa, women were required to cultivate and produce food for the family, however in today’s increased population, which have resulted to farming land fluctuations farms can no longer feed a family.
Another factor that has affected this old “women” profession is global warming, seasons are no longer predictable. If the countries start sweatshops programs, women will at least have some income other than depending on men wholly.
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn in their book “Half the Sky” gives the example of China as one of country that have used sweatshop policy to incorporate women in their production. According to the authors, the moves have shown an increased participation of women in economic development. Though the policy offers low wages and mostly is in the informal sector, women are able to meet their basic needs.
This is the start point. According to Abraham Marlow (1908-1970), hierarchy of needs theory, Psychological needs are the foremost needs that human beings require; these are the basic needs that a person should have they are food, shelter, health and clothing. When these are given by sweatshops, women will be able to focus on higher things and be able to fight for their needs.
When fighting for rights, there is always a sacrificial group, when today’s women are included in these low paying jobs, they will create an avenue to future girl child, as they are involved in production, men will note that they are equally and sometimes more productive than men and thus in the future, they will trust them with higher responsibilities.
In Canada, clothing industry, women dominate as labourers and casuals. This has given them exposure and experience that they require to establish their own small businesses which has resulted to their financial empowerment.
When African economies, embrace this move their economies will adjust to this economic policy; then with time, they will feel they can move without them. The result will be a foundation of fight for women rights. When these rights are respected, this is the start point of women empowerment. In Kenya-Africa, there was a move by the countries government and Italian government to have Export Processing Zones (EPZ) in the country which had a similar approach like sweatshops programs.
The zones were termed as areas of oppression in the late 1990s but in early 2000, C.O.T.U. (Central Organisation of Trade Unions-Kenya), intervened and currently the teams of the employment is better; they even have access to loans through the policy. This is a real example that shows how sweatshops programs can start small but end up benefiting women.
To recognise the talent in a person, it is good to expose him/her to a challenging task. When women are given the low earning jobs; in the process their talents will be recognised and used for the good of the economy.
I thus support the statement that “sweatshop labour opportunities for women in developing countries are better than no opportunities, or the limited opportunities, that are currently available to women in those countries”.