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by Remember Who Made Them
Remember Who Made Them

Feminist Fashion: Emancipation Or Exploitation?

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We all love clothes, let's Remember Who Made Them. In episode 3 we discuss Feminist Fashion. As brands and retailers claim to be “empowering’, ‘feminist” or “committed to equality” how do the 80% female workforce in the fashion industry fare? What happens when the patriarchal system manifests in the industry? Devi speaks with Jeeva, a garment worker and member of the Dabindu Collective in Sri Lanka about the conditions of her work, the impact of the COVID crisis and the changes to the workplace as targets and production continue to increase at alarming rates. Swatee speaks to Saira and Koussar, members of the Home Based Women Workers Federation in Pakistan, about the invisibility of their work, balancing care and work responsibilities and being the breadwinners for their families, busting the myth that women only need economic empowerment to have equality. Devi summarises the intersectionalities, with former Human Rights Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Ambika.  

Around the world, we still value men’s work above women’s work - and this is where gender inequality is especially clear. When we ascribe a different value to a person because of their gender, that is the social and cultural traits associated with their biological sex. Is Feminist Fashion really about emanicipation or just continuing patterns of exploitation?

Our guests:

Jeeva based in Katunayake, Sri Lanka

Koussar Ali based in Sanghar, Sindh, Pakistan 

Saira Feroz based in Karachi, Pakistan 

Ambika Satkunanathan based in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Resources: 

Talking Tastebuds: Fashion is a Feminist Issue: Venetia La Manna and Swatee Deepak: https://play.acast.com/s/talkingtastebuds/swateedeepak-isfashionafeministissue-

Article from WWD on Highest-Paid Executives in Fashion: https://bit.ly/3iYxagp

Illustration on what makes up the price of a Zara hoody: https://bit.ly/3gbjgWx

Learn more about how to calculate a Living Wage in Asia: https://bit.ly/3l49MA3

And in the UK: https://bit.ly/31d3aal

More information about Dabindu Collective which Jeeva is a member of: https://bit.ly/2Yi2GxM 

A book on Juki Girls: https://bit.ly/2Yj3v9Y

More information about Home Based Women Workers’ federation in Pakistan which Saira and Koussar are members of: https://bit.ly/3gmIy49 The union organises home-based workers, primarily in the garment sector and bangles industry in Sindh, and was involved in the international campaign against Kik, a retailer in Germany that was sourcing from the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, that burnt down in 2012 and killed over 200 workers.

More on MamaCash: https://www.mamacash.org/en/why-women-power-fashion

Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO):

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Episode 3

Season 1

by Remember Who Made Them