The purpose of this commentary is to examine the prevalence in which pregnant women are exploited in the production of apparel goods.
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.
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.
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.
Barnes, W.D. and Kozar, J.M. (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
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