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Mujeres en el Mundo: Multiculturalismo, violencia, trabajo,literatura y movimientos sociales

Chapter in book
Authors Edmé Domínguez Reyes
Published in Mujeres en el Mundo: Multiculturalismo, violencia, trabajo,literatura y movimientos sociales
Pages 201-218
ISBN 978-980-12-4591-9
Publisher Universidad de Carabobo, Venezuela
Place of publication Carabobo, Venezuela
Publication year 2010
Published at School of Global Studies
Pages 201-218
Language es
Keywords women workers, labour organizations, globalization, El Salvador
Subject categories Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Sociology


Women’s organizing, both at the local and global level has been one of the new social movement phenomena in which the role of human agency to resist global restructuring is most significant. However, such resistance strategies are particularly difficult when the challenge is not only confronting economic globalization as such but also part of the comrades in arms in such confrontation, that is trade unions that as such embody part of this resistance to transnational capital. The entanglement of the identities of class and gender is not unproblematic but it also opens new possibilities for example in the way of the creation of alternative labour organizations rejecting the traditions of authoritarianism and patriarchal hierarchies plaguing classical trade unions. The aim of this article is to show one such example of labour organizing among women workers within maquiladora (assembling factories-outsourcing) industries, the case of San Marcos in El Salvador. As it is well known, these industries have traditionally, in the first phases of their establishment and specially within textile manufacture, recruited mostly female workers, that is to say cheap labour. The story of their exploitation is quite well known, what is less well know is their organizing experiences, and these are quite varied. Taking as point of departure the example of El Salvador I want to illustrate how these women have been able to overcome many difficulties and sometimes form their own trade unions in alliance with NGOs. I will try to present their strategies and challenges as well as their potential for the near future. Thus, one can perhaps delineate the different factors that make this organizing possible, the importance of the local context vis a vis the international and the possibilities and limits of this kind of local resistance to the conditions imposed by globalization.

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