The Human Thread

April 04, 2018

Author: editor

Category: Learn

Rana Plaza and forgotten women of #MeToo

A relative holds a picture of a missing garment worker, who was working in the Rana Plaza building when it collapsed, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka April 24, 2013. The eight-storey block housing factories and a shopping centre collapsed on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital on Wednesday, killing more than 70 people and injuring hundreds, a government official said. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: DISASTER BUSINESS)

A relative holds a picture of a missing garment worker, who was working in the Rana Plaza building when it collapsed, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka April 24, 2013. The eight-storey block housing factories and a shopping centre collapsed on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital on Wednesday, killing more than 70 people and injuring hundreds, a government official said. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH – Tags: DISASTER BUSINESS)

The years of 2017 and 2018 have had birthed movements that are transforming the U.S.: the women’s march, the #MeToo movement, the #NeverAgain movement, the #Resist movement, to name but a few.

Sexual abuse and exploitation in the workplace are not unique to the U.S. As for violence, a July 2016 report revealed that one in seven women working in Indian garment factories suffered sexual violence, including rape, in the workplace. As victims often are reluctant to acknowledge sexual abuse, we know this number is low. In the global garment industry, vulnerable workers, nearly three quarters of them women, have limited or no legal protection and few formal grievance mechanisms. Fast Fashion makes our closets silent memorials to dangerous workplaces for women.

Next week marks five years since Rana Plaza, the most deadly accident in the history of garment manufacturing took place, and the need for consumers, brands, and unions to assume responsibility to improve the lives of millions of workers remains. Let us renew our commitment, personally and collectively, to live in solidarity with those who make our clothes.