Please help the garment workers in Bangladesh. The Global North is wreaking havoc on the Global South in the name of globalization, and the victims, largely, are the women of the Global South, women who need money. If these women don’t migrate to the Global North (the first world) for domestic work, or if they aren’t forced out through trafficking schemes, they’re largely stuck working in free trade zones or sweatshops. They’re stuck in deplorable conditions. They’re being paid starvation wages. They’re beaten when they don’t meet absurd production targets. They’re hired young and fired young. They’re, on average, paid 11 cents an hour. They work 14-20 hours a day, seven days a week, with an average of two days off a month. Often their wages are withheld for no reason. They sleep between shifts, curling up next to their sewing machines. The air is contaminated, the bathrooms unsanitary. There’s little to no ventilation in these factories, and they often set on fire. With no safety exits, women perish.
This isn’t just happening in Bangladesh. This is happening worldwide. Your beloved Disney contracts factories like that of the Shah Makhdum factory in Bangladesh. Walmart. Gap. Old Navy. Sears. Corporations of the Global North are robbing the Global South and then exploiting them as labor sources.
What can you do? You can be aware. You can pressure companies to improve conditions. You are a consumer, you have the power. But don’t pressure these companies to pull out, as this will leave these women with no source of income. Pressure them to improve conditions. Threaten to boycott if they do not. If they claim they have, ask for proof, ask for follow up, ask to see the funds. Make sure the women working at these factories are making more than starvation wages, for when they do, they can afford medicine, rent, water, food. They can move on from their factory jobs.
Research the factory collapses, the factory fires, the human rights atrocities. Please remember to also research corporations inaction when regarding these tragedies.
Remember this is worldwide. Remember you have the power. Remember these women.