Interview: Voices of young women

Women are the backbone of the garment industry and constitute the vast majority of garment workers. Yet women’s voices, especially those of young women, are often not heard. I wanted to change this and give them an opportunity to speak on this topic. I asked 4 women of different ages and backgrounds the following question:

“Did you know that the vast majority of garment workers are women, many of which face physical and sexual abuse. What do you think about that?”

Below are their responses:

I can’t begin to comprehend what it is like to come to work everyday and deal with what they deal with. It angers me that the people doing that keep doing it in ignorance to anyone’s mental and physical damage. It also saddens me thinking that the women stay in that job because of many different reasons. It also makes me realize how grateful I should really be about where I live now and who I am surrounded by. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced a workplace that has that problem actually understand what it’s like. I don’t think I can even come close to comprehending what is it like to be in an environment where all kind of abuse happens.

-Rogan, Age 14, Grade 9 student

I did not know this and I am horrified to think this industry still goes on when the clothes are being made essentially by slave labour.  It puts cheap shirts into perspective and makes me consider how little they make and the conditions they are in for someone to wear it once and throw it out.  I think that more people should think about what it means to buy something before doing it and if they do they will realize the fair trade option is much better for the world.

-Maria, Age 17, Grade 12 student

It is sad that some people are forced to work in such harsh conditions just to get by. The fact that there is so much physical and sexual abuse is not only saddening but they are unnecessary conditions. We should always try to help others but we should definitely try and help those who we benefit from and make profit off of because they deserve so much better.

-Kiera, Age 20, University Student

Yes I do know that. And it is horrible. But then what? Perhaps because I am 30, I do not have a passionate response. If they cannot work, they cannot eat. Ask any of them, they would rather work under those conditions then be unemployed

-Oojay, Age 30, Researcher

I found these responses very interesting and it was clear that the younger women especially, were outraged by the industry. If you are a young woman who feels underrepresented and would like to share your views, you can comment below or contact me directly and I can incorporate you in the next interview!


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