Cambodian garment workers are fighting for a livable wage. Of the
half-million garment workers in the county, 90 percent are women living on about $3 a day, not enough to eat much less afford housing. The majority of textiles exported are destined for brands like Gap and Wal-Mart, as Cambodia enjoys “most favored nation” status with the United States under the World Trade Organization’s free trade agreement.
This month, one of Belgium’s women’s rights organizations, zij-kant, caused quite a stir with their annual “Equal Pay Day” message. Instead of merely high-lighting that women in Belgium, on average, earn 22 percent less than men, the organization launched a video starring porn actress Sasha Grey with the message “Porn is about the only way women can earn more than men—find a better alternative.”
National women’s rights advocacy groups are using their newfound political clout with the Obama administration to shape the $825 billion economic stimulus package.
Our country should view health care reform as an economic investment that can create jobs that women are likely to take.