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This is what feminism looks like: Women paid 40 cents an hour sewing $70 “feminist” T-shirts

November 2, 2014

From the U.K. Daily Mail:

The workers paid just 62p an hour: Machinists at the CMT factory in Mauritius with one of the 'feminist' shirts it would take nearly two weeks' of their wages to buy

They are the T-shirts designed to make a political statement about women’s rights – but the female workers making them are paid just 62p an hour in an Indian Ocean ‘sweatshop’.

Between shifts women making garments emblazoned with the slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ sleep in spartan dormitories, 16 to a room.

And critics say the low wages and long hours at the Mauritian factories amount to exploitation.

The shirts have been worn by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman, all keen to display their feminist credentials – even though the Deputy Prime Minister last night admitted he had ‘no idea’ where the garments were made.

But The Mail on Sunday has toured a factory producing the T-shirts, where workers earn just 6,000 rupees a month – equivalent to £120.

The figure is just a quarter of the country’s average monthly wage, and around half of what a waiter earns. Each ‘feminist’ T-shirt costs just £9 to make, but high street chain Whistles sells them for £45 each – a figure it would take the women a week and a half to earn.

***
Whistles, whose customers include the Duchess of Cambridge, is selling the T-shirts in aid of women’s activism group The Fawcett Society – which receives all profits. The campaign is backed by fashion magazine Elle.
But we already know that feminism is all about First World problems, not Third World problems.
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