Promoting Women Workers' Rights In A Post-MFA Environment In Hong Kong
With the phasing out of quotas system, the Northern-based retailers are in the process of reorganizing their global supply chains to adapt and benefit from the emerging new free trade agreements.
Whether China is going to be a beneficiary of the new operation strategies is still a matter of debate. But in Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, changes in the garment industry are forthcoming. In 2006, a new policy will be implemented: the garment industry is now allowed to import workers from mainland under the proportion of 4 mainland to 1 local worker. This policy would definitely affect both the local garment workers as well as the migrant workers from China of which 75% are women.
Thus to safeguard the women workers' rights, it is important to monitor the working conditions and the industrial policy. It is also important to build alliance between the local and the migrant garment women workers for empowerment.
Targets of the Project:
- Produce resource leaflets, newsletters, exhibition boards, and audio-visual materials to build awareness among garment women workers on their rights.
- Through visits, interviews and activities, build network among local and migrant garment women workers.
- Document the situation of garment workers, and publicize the information to promote concern on their plight.
About the Hong Kong Women Workers' Association (HKWWA)
HKWWA was founded in 1989, composed of women workers from the grassroots and social workers. The objectives are to unite and organize female workers to fight for their rights as labour and as women; and to empower women workers to deal with their needs and problems.
HKWWA has conducted a research on "The Development of Hong Kong Garment Industry and the Impact on Women Workers" in 2004. In the research, we interviewed garment workers, merchandiser, and the capitalist of garment industry in Hong Kong, China and Cambodia.
The main current projects of HKWWA include: organizing the cleaners' union to fight for women workers rights under the sub-contract system; organizing unemployed women to form cooperatives and building leadership among women workers.
For more information on the Hong Kong Women Workers' Association (HKWWA) visit their website at: http://www.hkwwa.org.hk/