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‘Nimble Fingers Make Cheap Workers’: An Analysis of Women's Employment in Third World Export Manufacturing

‘Nimble Fingers Make Cheap Workers’: An Analysis of Women's Employment in Third World Export... 'Nimble Fingers Make Cheap Workers': An Analysis of Women's Employment in Third World Export Manufacturing Diane Elson and Ruth Pearson Introduction Since the late 1960s a new type of wage employment has become available to women in many Third World countries: work in 'world market factories' producing manufactures exclusively for export to the rich countries. In these factories the vast majority of employees are usually young women between the age of fourteen and twenty-four or -five. While these women are only a small proportion of all Third World women, theirs is an important case to study, because the provision of jobs for women is often seen as an important way of 'integrating women into the development process', a demand which emerged from the United Nations Conference of International Women's Year which took place in 1975 under the tutelage of various international development agencies. The idea that women's subordinate position stems from a lack of job opportunities, and can be ended by the provision of sufficient job opportunities, is deeply rooted and held by a wide spectrum of opinion, from international development agencies, government bureaux and mainstream Marxists to many women's organizations. Our work in the Workshop on the Subordination http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Feminist Review SAGE

‘Nimble Fingers Make Cheap Workers’: An Analysis of Women's Employment in Third World Export Manufacturing

Feminist Review , Volume 7 (1): 21 – Mar 1, 1981

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References (1)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1981 Feminist Review
ISSN
0141-7789
eISSN
1466-4380
DOI
10.1057/fr.1981.6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

'Nimble Fingers Make Cheap Workers': An Analysis of Women's Employment in Third World Export Manufacturing Diane Elson and Ruth Pearson Introduction Since the late 1960s a new type of wage employment has become available to women in many Third World countries: work in 'world market factories' producing manufactures exclusively for export to the rich countries. In these factories the vast majority of employees are usually young women between the age of fourteen and twenty-four or -five. While these women are only a small proportion of all Third World women, theirs is an important case to study, because the provision of jobs for women is often seen as an important way of 'integrating women into the development process', a demand which emerged from the United Nations Conference of International Women's Year which took place in 1975 under the tutelage of various international development agencies. The idea that women's subordinate position stems from a lack of job opportunities, and can be ended by the provision of sufficient job opportunities, is deeply rooted and held by a wide spectrum of opinion, from international development agencies, government bureaux and mainstream Marxists to many women's organizations. Our work in the Workshop on the Subordination

Journal

Feminist ReviewSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1981

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