General Workforce Issues for Women Globally

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The textile industry is an immediate topic of discussion when examining female working conditions globally. Today, with 1.3 billion women employed, females constitute 52% of the participation in the workforce (Source #2). Despite their large participation and slow move towards occupation acceptance in the developed world, women still face many trials that stem from gender-based discrimination, especially within developing countries. The textile and garment industry constitutes most likely the largest sector of manufacturing and profit production for many countries and therefore will be the concentration of this paper to represent the working conditions for the majority of people (WIEGO). Since females comprise 85% of the global garment industry, their gender role is relevant in all processes (SOMO, 2011). This paper seeks to explain general workforce issues for women globally, including specific Latin American country examples, what should be done to improve working conditions, and what is currently being done. At first, the benefits provided by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were enough to give Latin American countries an edge to hold off tight competition from other developing countries. However, in 1995, World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to gradually remove the 1974 Multi-Fiber Agreement that installed a quota system which limited countries such as China on the amount of products they could export to developed countries (source #1). The elimination
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