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The Mexican Maquiladoras Essay

4150 words - 17 pages

The Mexican Maquiladoras

As a major contributor to the global economy, Mexico’s sweatshops have contributed to the United States’ wealth and economic growth. It is the unfortunate truth that many individual workers have suffered as a result of this prosperity. The sweatshops, known as maquiladoras, are in debate because of the ethical and lawful reasoning behind their existence and conditions. How can we, as a First-world nation, allow such industries to exist where people are denied basic and fundamental human rights? What, if any, laws and regulations are put into place for the maquiladoras? Are these laws and regulations hindering, harmful, or helpful? Are they enforced emphatically? If not, how does this affect development? After finding an answer to the first question, I began to realize why it is so important to answer the latter questions. As a First-world nation, we allow such industries to exist because as consumer-citizens, we benefit greatly from such industries as the maquiladoras. Subsequently, it is imperative that individuals understand the point of views of the Mexican and United States Governments on such industries and what is being done, or not being done, to stop or prevent the existence and growth of the maquiladoras. From the stance within a pro-worker discourse, the conditions in the maquiladoras are dangerous, hazardous, and harmful to the safety, well-being, happiness, and development of these workers- the majority of whom are female.

This fact is in direct correlation to Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva’s critique of the New International Division of Labor in their book Ecofeminism. "A subsistence perspective can be realized only within such a network of reliable, stable human relations, it cannot be based on the atomized, self-centered individuality of the market economy." (Mies and Shiva, p. 319) As a superior, it is difficult for us to realize that we are advancing as a result of another country’s expense. However, I do not think that it is difficult for the companies that relocate to Mexico to understand what they are doing; in essence, they relocate these transnational corporations to Mexico in order to save money and make more profits. It is also difficult for Western women to identify themselves outside the consumer identity; therefore, as Mies and Shiva have established the importance of finding ‘common ground’, it is difficult for many women to obtain this. Often, Western women cannot find any relation between themselves and the women of Third World countries. In their book Ecofeminism, Mies and Shiva establish the difficulties associated within the search, or lack of a search, for ‘common ground’ between First World and Third World women. "Some women, however, particularly urban, middle-class women, find it difficult to perceive commonality…between themselves and ‘different’ women in the world….the one always considered superior, always thriving, and progressing at the expense of the other." (Mies and...

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