Women In Maquiladora

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Since 1993 thousands of women in Ciudad Juárez have fallen victim to heavy sexual and physical abuse, and hundreds have been murdered. After the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, and in line with the expansion of the maquiladora industry, the femicide rate in the Mexican city rose significantly, earning it the unfamous nickname “femicide capitol.” The Mexican Government receives strong criticism for its inability to deal with this issue, and it is often accused of ignoring, or even perpetuating, the problem. However, the maquiladora industry, which played a crucial role in the creation of the city’s hostile environment, has largely remained out of range of criticism. In this essay I will argue that the expansion of the maquiladora industry,…show more content…
The high rise in female employment conflicts directly with the machismo and marianismo ideology that is part of Mexico’s national identity. Machismo prescribes males to be self-reliant and provide for their families, and is often characterized by aggression, while its counterpart marianismo is characterized by inferiority and prescribes women to fulfill domestic roles and refrain from paid labor. The implementation of NAFTA in 1994 and the following expansion of the maquiladora industry created a large job market, which attracted a lot of women to cities like Ciudad Juárez, where cheap and disposable labor was eagerly welcomed, sparking a strong rise in female employment. The strong rise in female employment is highly problematic because it conflicts with traditional gender roles. First, “women working in the maquila industry challenge the ideal of Mexican womanhood.” More importantly, however, it also challenges the ideal of Mexican manhood, because increasing numbers of women in the workforce attack the men his position as family-caretaker. According to Mercedes Olivera and Victoria Furio this shift in gender roles challenges hyper masculinity, forcing men to protect their identity by exaggerating “the violent, authoritarian, aggressive aspects of machismo culture.”…show more content…
This dehumanization, according to Elvia Arriola, “allows for the creation of a kind of corporate indifference to the needs of workers, and certainly to the needs of women who live, work, or travel to and from maquiladora factories contributing to the resulting hostile environment for their safety.” For example, Arriola recounts the story of Clauda Ivette González, a maquiladora worker from Juárez who was sent away for being two minutes late, only to disappear on her way home and be found murdered a month later. Stories like this one exemplify the complete neglect of the maquiladora industry towards their employees’ safety and it affirms the fact that the industries’ policies contribute to the easy victimization of women. Thus, the maquiladora industry has not only created an incentive, it also facilitates an opportunity for the

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