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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

#Intersectional Feminism: Advocating for Women Workers' Labor Rights

If your feminism does not fight for women workers’ labor rights, you are NOT a feminist!

♀️ 🌐Women make up a significant portion of the global workforce, contributing to various industries and sectors. Their work is diverse and indispensable, yet they often face systemic discrimination, wage gaps, and precarious employment. Whether they are factory workers, domestic helpers, nurses, or entrepreneurs, their labor rights matter!

Women workers, especially those from marginalized communities, still face numerous challenges and disparities. Their struggles are often compounded by multiple layers of discrimination. An intersectional approach seeks to address these interlocking systems of oppression to create adequate and context-responsive solutions.

We must shed light on the importance of advocating for their rights, highlighting the need for inclusive policies and actions to protect ALL women workers!

💼Equal Pay for Equal Work

Wage disparity remains a critical issue for women workers. In Thailand, the gender wage gap is evident, with women earning over 10% less than their male counterparts for the same job, as per UN Women's 2020 data. Progress towards parity has stagnated in the region over the past decade, according to the World Economic Forum's 2023 report. This issue is deeply intertwined with gender role expectations and intersectional discriminatory stereotypes. Employers often hold the belief that women's roles as mothers or caregivers might distract them from their professional responsibilities. This places women at an immediate disadvantage, as they are pressured to fulfill the role of the principal caregiver at home while enduring workplace discrimination.

🏥Reproductive Rights and Care Support

Because many women grapple with the dual responsibilities of their careers and caregiving, access to comprehensive reproductive health care, affordable childcare, and family support policies is vital. While maternity leave policies are essential, they must be inclusive and flexible to accommodate diverse family structures. An intersectional feminist perspective pushes for policies that support not only biological mothers but also adoptive parents, LGBTQI+ families, and caregivers, recognizing the diversity of women's experiences.

In addition, significant barriers remain when it comes to accessing safe healthcare services, particularly for those seeking abortion. The stigma and judgment surrounding abortion deter individuals from seeking necessary care, perpetuating a culture of shame and condemnation. Moreover, in Thailand, the scarcity of centers offering abortion procedures leaves women in rural or marginalized communities with no viable alternatives.

❤️‍🩹We must break down all barriers preventing women from accessing the care and support they need!

🌏The marginalization of women through ineffective laws

In Thailand, current laws and policies do not align with international standards concerning workers' rights, resulting in women workers left without adequate protection. They, for example, frequently face harassment and violence in the workplace, but are provided little to no remedies. In addition, women from the informal sector, indigenous communities, sex workers, and migrant workers find themselves disproportionately affected by those non-inclusive, unjust policies.

At Manushya Foundation, we call upon all governments to implement inclusive and effective laws that protect and ensure the rights of women workers and recognize their multidimensional struggles.

📚Access to Education and Training

Access to quality education and training is essential for women to thrive in the workforce. This necessity becomes even more critical for marginalized women who have often faced educational disparities.

In Southeast Asia, where about two-thirds of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples reside, the picture is complex. Indigenous women, in particular, encounter fewer educational opportunities compared to men. When gender and ethnicity intersect, the challenges become even more daunting. Despite some progress, indigenous communities, especially girls and women, continue to grapple with significant obstacles. This unequal access to education perpetuates gender disparities and has far-reaching implications. Furthermore, marginalized women, including those from indigenous, rural, elderly, and disabled backgrounds, face substantial barriers in the digital age due to illiteracy.

📖Intersectional feminism places significant emphasis on the need for equal educational opportunities for all.

👩‍💼Representation and Leadership

🥇Women's representation in leadership roles remains disproportionately low. For this reason, we must advocate for mentoring and leadership programs that strengthen the capacity of women, particularly from marginalized backgrounds, in order to encourage diverse representation at all levels of organizations.

✊ At Manushya Foundation, we strive to ensure no woman is left behind and that we address the unique challenges faced by different groups of women workers. So, remember, if you do not fight for women workers' labor rights, you are NOT a feminist. It's time to stand up, take action, and make the workplace fair and just for all.

🌟Are you a true feminist? Stand with women workers and be part of the change.

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings

References ⤵️


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