The women interviewed in the study spoke of how, often, even basic amenities could not be taken for granted in their workplace. For example, time provided to have lunch or drink water was limited and toilet visits monitored. “Many reported that if they exceeded two minutes in a toilet, security officers ask the workers to hurry up.” Many drink little water to avoid the humiliation.
The workers complained of mental stress caused by unreasonable production targets, abuse (often sexually coloured) at the hands of supervisors, threats of dismissal and compulsion to work beyond scheduled hours.
Common among health issues reported were urinary infection, gastritis, headache, problems related to eyesight, dust allergies and postural-related problems. Besides, “many workers complained of being severely depressed, frustrated, edgy and having mood swings.”Read more: Study points to factors behind bad health of garment workers