Women face the brunt of globalisation and trade
Globalisation has drawn millions of women into paid employment across developing countries, but they are denied their fair share of benefits, says Oxfam gb's latest research in 12 countries
Women are working at high speed for low wages in unhealthy conditions. They are forced to put in long hours. Most have no sick leave or maternity leave; few are enrolled in health or employment schemes
The chief reason: the new business model known as the global supply chain. Globalisation has opened up countries, creating producers from whom brand multinational companies can source their raw materials and products
International mergers and aggressive marketing pricing have concentrated market power in a few hands. Out sourcing has become common. Retailers push the costs and risks down the supply chain to factory/farm managers, who further pass them down to the weakest link in the chain: women workers
In Chile, 75 per cent women in the agricultural sector are hired on temporary contracts for picking fruit.
In China's Guangdong province, women face 150 hours of monthly overtime in garment factories, but 60 per cent have no written contract and 90 per cent have no access to social security
Retailers, on the other hand, are doing brisk business. Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, buys products from 65,000 suppliers and sells through 1,300 stores in 10 countries. No wonder its products are 14 per cent cheaper than its competitors
In 2001, the top five department stores in the us -- led by Sears Roebuck and JC Penney -- controlled 56 per cent of department stores sales.
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