We all love clothes, let's Remember Who Made Them. In episode 3 we discuss Feminist Fashion. As brands and retailers claim to be “empowering’, ‘feminist” or “committed to equality” how do the 80% female workforce in the fashion industry fare? What happens when the patriarchal system manifests in the industry? Devi speaks with Jeeva, a garment worker and member of the Dabindu Collective in Sri Lanka about the conditions of her work, the impact of the COVID crisis and the changes to the workplace as targets and production continue to increase at alarming rates. Swatee speaks to Saira and Koussar, members of the Home Based Women Workers Federation in Pakistan, about the invisibility of their work, balancing care and work responsibilities and being the breadwinners for their families, busting the myth that women only need economic empowerment to have equality. Devi summarises the intersectionalities, with former Human Rights Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Ambika.
Around the world, we still value men’s work above women’s work - and this is where gender inequality is especially clear. When we ascribe a different value to a person because of their gender, that is the social and cultural traits associated with their biological sex. Is Feminist Fashion really about emancipation or just continuing patterns of exploitation?
Jeeva based in Katunayake, Sri Lanka
Koussar Ali based in Sanghar, Sindh, Pakistan
Saira Feroz based in Karachi, Pakistan
Ambika Satkunanathan based in Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Talking Tastebuds: Fashion is a Feminist Issue: Venetia La Manna and Swatee Deepak: https://play.acast.com/s/talkingtastebuds/swateedeepak-isfashionafeministissue-
Article from WWD on Highest-Paid Executives in Fashion: https://bit.ly/3iYxagp
Illustration on what makes up the price of a Zara hoody: https://bit.ly/3gbjgWx
Learn more about how to calculate a Living Wage in Asia: https://bit.ly/3l49MA3
And in the UK: https://bit.ly/31d3aal
More information about Dabindu Collective which Jeeva is a member of: https://bit.ly/2Yi2GxM
A book on Juki Girls: https://bit.ly/2Yj3v9Y
More information about Home Based Women Workers’ federation in Pakistan which Saira and Koussar are members of: https://bit.ly/3gmIy49 The union organises home-based workers, primarily in the garment sector and bangles industry in Sindh, and was involved in the international campaign against Kik, a retailer in Germany that was sourcing from the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, that burnt down in 2012 and killed over 200 workers.
More on MamaCash: https://www.mamacash.org/en/why-women-power-fashion
Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO): https://www.wiego.org/garment-workers
Study by the International Labour Organisation and WIEGO on the contributions of informal workers:
Exploitation or emancipation? Women workers in the garment industry by Fashion Revolution: Exploitation or emancipation? https://bit.ly/2FHxJNb
With thanks to those that read the translations in English: Kaushalya Kumarage (for Jeeva), Shagufta Hanif (for Saira) and Neera Deepak (for Koussar).
Podcast artwork by: @judith_p.raynault
Music: Melisa Le Rue Life Is Beautiful produced by Colin Emmanuel
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