Women Supporting Women  

As you know, I'm a huge fan of Sisters in the Building Trades and Hard Hatted Women. However, it appears I've now got to add a new one, STITCH.

From their site:

Women in Central America and the U.S. face similar challenges in the workplace, especially when it comes to low wages, discrimination, insufficient childcare services and dangerous working conditions. To change these shared conditions, STITCH, founded in 1998, unites Central American and U.S. women workers to exchange strategies on how to fight for economic justice in the workplace. STITCH equips women with the essential skills through trainings and educational tools, and in the process, builds lasting relationships with women across the two regions, further empowering women in the labor movement. STITCH also ensures women's voices are heard in global debates and discussions on issues that impact them: globalization, trade agreements, immigration policy, and global labor standards.

They have some amazing empowering programs like working with Latina women in the US called other immigrants, there's the Leadership Workshops, and there's a Delegation to Central America as well.

This group is also working to document the effects of free trade on women

STITCH presents a new publication that explores the impact of free trade on women workers in Central America and the United States . In their own words, these courageous women talk about their lives and their struggle to survive in—and challenge—an economic system that is stacked against them. This publication is completely bi-lingual (English and Spanish) and includes stories of women working in export clothing factories, healthcare, and agriculture.

They have some amazing quotes from this document, my favorite was this one:

"My first job [in the factory] was cutting cloth. I only did that for two days. On the third day, a supervisor, who was very tough, put me on a machine attaching sleeves. She wanted to take advantage of me because I was so young. She insulted me, made me cry, and hit me. She threw pieces of cloth in my face and demanded that I attach sleeves as fast as the more experienced workers. That's how I learned my first operation. I was 17 when I first joined the union. Once I understood what unions could mean for workers, I was able to recruit a lot of compaƱeras. But here in Honduras, trade unionists are treated like criminals. If you try to organize a union, they take pictures of you and send them to the other companies. That makes it very difficult for a worker to get a job once she's known as a unionist. At first, I was afraid, but later I thought, why should I be afraid? Legal is legal, and I'm really only defending the laws of our country."

Interested in the work the Stitch does, then check out their joint labor blog


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