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Friday, April 20, 2012


Right now, women in Mexico working in the maquiladoras are facing hardships, sexual assault and abuse. Maquiladoras refers to individuals working in factories that import material for assembly and then export the assembled product, to become a fixed aspect of the local and national economy (COHA). The majority of these workers are women according to Nidya Sarria, a research associate of Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Sarria states that the majority of women are maquiladoras because “men are seen as trainable and intelligent. They are valued higher than female workers due to their alleged ability to constantly learn and produce value over a protracted period of time, where as women and there work decline over time because, according to her managers, her value as a worker is used up after years of endless, exhausting hours of factory work.” Maquiladoras women face cruel working conditions. They are forced to stand at hours at a time with little to no break in between shifts. They are also routinely subjected to mandatory urine testsin order to determine a pregnancy. If they are, they will be forced to face even more unbearable work in hopes that they quit, which occasionally happens. Events such as these merely skim the surface of the atrocities that the Maquiladoras face.

As of “February 2005, more than 800 bodies have been found and 3,000 women are missing, majority of the women are maquiladoras workers” (COHA). That is due to the constant relocation of families into the city of Juarez because of the need of workers in the factories. Because these families are from such poor stricken neighborhoods the idea of making $55 a week draws thousands of women into maquiladoras. These malquiladoras are often run by U.S. companies such as General Electric, Alcoa, and DuPont. Not only do women face the constant abuse from their managers (the majority of whom are males) they now face the terror of being kidnapped, tortured and murdered. This happens because the hours they start their shift are late at night. Therefore, they have to walk in the dark with no sidewalks or street lights to help them guide their way. In order to stop the murders, the factory owners provided a bus service but.  Despite their intentions, this has not been an effective preventive security measure. The killings of these women are known as “femicide”. As for the Mexican government, authorities have completely dropped the investigation of the femicide as of August 2006.