Disposability of the Women of the Maquiladoras

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The intention of this research is to establish the connection between underlying cultural perception of women in Mexico and the resulting treatment of Mexican women in the Maquiladora work force. This research proposes that an ingrained belief of “machismo,” or aggressive masculinity, results in a disposable attitude toward Mexican women both culturally and within the workforce. The manifestation of a disposable attitude can be seen in working conditions for women in the Maquiladoras, such as limited compensation, strenuous and often hazardous work environments, and little regard towards the very health of the women. This disposable attitude toward women in the Maquiladoras permeates much of Mexican culture resulting in the shocking Juarez killings. The bodies discovered in the desert outside of Juarez Mexico revealed that hundreds of women had been murdered and dumped over several years with almost no attention paid to their initial disappearance. After discovering their bodies, Mexican police speculated it was the wild lifestyle of the women which lead to their murder. Through blaming the murdered women for their own deaths, an insight into the cultural attitude of Mexican women within the Maquiladoras is revealed. This research will discuss not only the deep rooted causes of a disposable attitude toward women, but as well propose an obligation of The United States as a counter member of NAFTA towards the wellbeing of all Maquiladora workers.


Keywords: Maquiladoras, Disposability, NAFTA, Women
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Elizabeth Schuelke

International Studies, University of North Texas
Krum, Texas, USA

International Social Science Conference 2007: Presenter - International Refugee Status through Transnational Feminist Theory. University of North Texas Eagle Feather. Publication - Whiteness: A Review of Literature.

Ref: I08P0898