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Female Representation In Trade Unions: The Case Of The Cambodian Garment Industry

Pereira, Fabiana LU (2016) JAMM04 20161
Department of Law
Abstract
The textile and garment industry is one of Cambodia’s economic ‘growth pillars’ and it plays a key role in the country’s economic development. Foreign enterprises contract Cambodian factories to manufacture goods, which will then be sold worldwide. International buyers include H&M, GAP, Marks & Spencer, Levi’s, Adidas and Inditex. The demands required to suppliers are challenging and there is a widespread subcontracting practice. This weakens the enforcement of labour standards, as adequate monitoring is unlikely. Hence, the risk of human rights abuses increases as the supply chain gets more complex. This risk can disproportionately affect women, who constitute the majority of garment workers in Cambodia. The enforcement of labour rights... (More)
The textile and garment industry is one of Cambodia’s economic ‘growth pillars’ and it plays a key role in the country’s economic development. Foreign enterprises contract Cambodian factories to manufacture goods, which will then be sold worldwide. International buyers include H&M, GAP, Marks & Spencer, Levi’s, Adidas and Inditex. The demands required to suppliers are challenging and there is a widespread subcontracting practice. This weakens the enforcement of labour standards, as adequate monitoring is unlikely. Hence, the risk of human rights abuses increases as the supply chain gets more complex. This risk can disproportionately affect women, who constitute the majority of garment workers in Cambodia. The enforcement of labour rights should be a priority in improving women’s status in the country, which will contribute to social and economic development. Trade Unions, through representation, collective bargaining and other forms of action can greatly contribute to this. However, women are underrepresented in trade union decision making, which affects their ability to demand their rights. Workers can only be effectively represented if all groups and their interests are adequately taken into account in the decision making process. Accordingly, women’s representation in trade union membership and leadership is necessary. In Cambodia the labour movement is composed by women but led by men.

This thesis examines the extent to which an increase in trade union leadership can contribute to the promotion of gender equality and the improvement of working conditions. This is done with a focus on the Cambodian garment industry. Four questions are answered:
(1) Why are gender equality and gender-balanced labour representation important;
(2) What is the role of trade unions in this context;
(3) Why should there be an increase in female trade union leadership and;
(4) To what extent can an increase in such leadership contribute to the enhancement of working conditions and the achievement of gender equality. (Less)
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author
Pereira, Fabiana LU
supervisor
organization
course
JAMM04 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Labour Law, Human Rights Law, Female Representation, Cambodia, Trade Unions, Gender Equality
language
English
id
8894766
date added to LUP
2016-11-10 13:00:17
date last changed
2016-11-10 13:00:17
@misc{8894766,
  abstract     = {The textile and garment industry is one of Cambodia’s economic ‘growth pillars’ and it plays a key role in the country’s economic development. Foreign enterprises contract Cambodian factories to manufacture goods, which will then be sold worldwide. International buyers include H&M, GAP, Marks & Spencer, Levi’s, Adidas and Inditex. The demands required to suppliers are challenging and there is a widespread subcontracting practice. This weakens the enforcement of labour standards, as adequate monitoring is unlikely. Hence, the risk of human rights abuses increases as the supply chain gets more complex. This risk can disproportionately affect women, who constitute the majority of garment workers in Cambodia. The enforcement of labour rights should be a priority in improving women’s status in the country, which will contribute to social and economic development. Trade Unions, through representation, collective bargaining and other forms of action can greatly contribute to this. However, women are underrepresented in trade union decision making, which affects their ability to demand their rights. Workers can only be effectively represented if all groups and their interests are adequately taken into account in the decision making process. Accordingly, women’s representation in trade union membership and leadership is necessary. In Cambodia the labour movement is composed by women but led by men.

This thesis examines the extent to which an increase in trade union leadership can contribute to the promotion of gender equality and the improvement of working conditions. This is done with a focus on the Cambodian garment industry. Four questions are answered: 
(1) Why are gender equality and gender-balanced labour representation important;
(2) What is the role of trade unions in this context;
(3) Why should there be an increase in female trade union leadership and;
(4) To what extent can an increase in such leadership contribute to the enhancement of working conditions and the achievement of gender equality.},
  author       = {Pereira, Fabiana},
  keyword      = {Labour Law,Human Rights Law,Female Representation,Cambodia,Trade Unions,Gender Equality},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Female Representation In Trade Unions: The Case Of The Cambodian Garment Industry},
  year         = {2016},
}