Safety audit report highlights discrimination faced by female workers in the garment industry

Photo: Thet Ko/Mizzima

A new report by ActionAid released on the 15 June at the Summit Park Hotel has highlighted the discrimination faced by Myanmar’s female garment workers.

According to the report, at present there are approximately 440 garment factories in Myanmar with around 300,000 workers. The predicted growth to 2020 is for 1000 factories and 1 million workers. Progress in promoting, protecting and caring for female factory workers has been pushed by a good number of studies, declarations, campaigns, and initial policies have been implemented at the national and international levels. However, the majority of garment workers in cities, especially Yangon, are females who are experiencing discrimination inside and outside their houses and unfair labour practice.

The report aims to improve occupational safety and security through its recommendations including mainstreaming gender in garment factories. It analyses specific aspects of women workers plight in the private, public and work spheres focusing on their rights. Section 24 of the Myanmar constitution specifies that “The Union shall enact laws to protect the rights of the workers if necessary.” This report also highlights the status of women factory workers in Yangon and identifies the gaps in the existing policies related to safety of workers.

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