In garment factories, where sweatshop conditions are common, workers are typically young and female. It is estimated that 80% of garment workers are women.
Women workers are often seen by employers as weaker and more easily exploitable. Cultural stereotypes of women as passive and subordinate to men often play in to this and add to the discrimination and abuse they face.
Recent reports from Bangladesh show women garment workers working for long hours, over 60 hours a week, earning as little as £0.20 per hour, and working in dangerous conditions. Similar conditions have been reported in countries across the developing world.
Women workers often face verbal abuse and sexual harassment from male managers, as well as discrimination, particularly if they decide to have children, including increased working hours, higher production targets, and unfair disciplinary measures.