The exploitation of pregnant workers in apparel production

Wendy D. Barnes (Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)
Joy M. Kozar (Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this commentary is to examine the prevalence in which pregnant women are exploited in the production of apparel goods.

Design/methodology/approach

The labor laws of four countries, including China, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Philippines, are assessed and discussed in relation to cases of documented abuse occurring against pregnant women working in the garment industry in these four countries.

Findings

An analysis and consensus of the literature reveals that although all four countries have established labor laws to protect workers, pregnant women continually face abuse and discrimination in the garment industry. Many forms of exploitation occur, including forced abortions, unpaid and/or required overtime, lack of adequate benefits, unfair hiring and promotion practices, and forced job assignments requiring intense physical labor which proves detrimental to the health and well‐being of the worker and unborn child.

Originality/value

Labor abuses in the production of apparel goods are often widely espoused as a result of media campaigns executed by human rights and labor organizations. The focus of such movements, however, is often on the disregard for child labor laws, workers' rights to join unions, and minimum wage violations. Less focus has centered on the treatment of pregnant women in the production of apparel goods. In an attempt to educate consumers, industry and academic professionals, this paper addresses the issue of discriminatory abuses occurring against pregnant women in the garment industry.

Keywords

Citation

Barnes, W. and Kozar, J. (2008), "The exploitation of pregnant workers in apparel production", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 285-293. https://doi.org/10.1108/13612020810889254

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.