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Are Sweatshops Evil?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By firelights64
Words 784
Pages 4
It is no secret that sweatshops are horrible areas of employment. The prevalence of child labor, poor working conditions, and little pay has given sweatshops notoriety amongst the economic and political world. However, when placed in the context of the respective areas sweatshops reside in; sweatshops take on a much more favorable form. Sweatshops arise in poor areas around the world, and this actually plays a major factor when looking at the positive aspects of sweatshops. These aspects include a greater source of income than other local jobs, a better alternative mean of making money, and a positive impact upon women in poor countries.
Sweatshops are infamous for providing low wages, but when analyzed in the context of other employment industries in countries where sweatshops are common, sweatshop wages are actually a steady source of income. For example, ninety percent of countries that contain sweatshops produce income that is larger than the overall average income of that respective country. In some cases, up to half of sweatshop countries yield earnings up to three times the national average (Powell). In terms of income, sweatshops allow a superior means of making money than other jobs. Any movement that tries to prohibit sweatshops has to realize that the removal of sweatshops discards a remarkable source of money that citizens desperately need and cannot get anywhere else. The growing movement towards abolishing sweatshops not only removes a decent source of pay, but it also destroys a means of employment that is actually preferable in nature to other forms of income.
In sweatshop countries, other forms of employment aside from sweatshops are primarily prostitution and subsistence farming. It may seem to be a noble and kind gesture to ban sweatshops in order to free children from hard labor, but this action can cause a domino effect with huge ramifications. For example, endeavors in the 1990s to diminish child labor in Bangladesh caused kids to look for other work, and this typically resulted in prostitution (Ideas). Additionally, subsistence farming is a major component of sweatshop countries. For example, 59% of Vietnam’s workers are involved in subsistence farming and is considered one the most dangerous jobs in the world. Workers in the agricultural field experience up to 250 million accidents every year, and in some countries, the amount of fatal accidents can occur twice as much in agriculture as opposed to other industries. Under these circumstances, the destruction of sweatshops can be detrimental to the populace as workers will be forced to go into even worse conditions. Correspondingly, the effect on women affiliated with sweatshops is a godsend when compared to these alternatives.
In Bangladesh the differences recorded between women affiliated with sweatshops and those who were not is virtually night and day. In areas where sweatshops were in close vicinity with sweatshops, girls were found to be 28% less likely to get pregnant, and 29% less likely to be placed into a forced marriage. Moreover, enrolments rates amongst girls were found to be 38.6% higher (Heath). It can be concluded from this that families involved with sweatshops can afford to give their daughters a proper education, and factory jobs help promote skills which allow the value of education to rise.
In conclusion, in poor countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, Sweatshops are NOT the primary evil plaguing the land, but rather the poor state of these countries that resulted in the birth of sweatshops in the first place. In order to stop the poor treatment suffered by workers in sweatshops, we should be striving for an IMPROVED sweatshop rather than a destroyed one. If we focused on increasing wages and creating better working conditions for sweatshop workers, The poor citizens of these countries stand a chance at providing for their families. Sweatshops are beneficial to those living in third-world countries because they actually offer a better working environment than the alternatives such as subsistence farming and prostitution. Lastly, improving sweatshops will also raise morale and will allow for women to achieve a proper education and be able to find love on their terms. Sweatshops are terrible places to work, but what list beyond those factory walls is a far more worse fate.

Works Cited
Heath, Rachel, and Mushfiq Mobarak. "Supply and Demand Constraints on Educational Investment: Evidence from Garment Sector Jobs and the Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh." Supply and Demand Constraints on Educational Investment: Evidence from Garment Sector Jobs and the Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh ∗ (2011): n. pag. 2 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 June 2016. .
"Ideas and Actions." Social Work Education 6.1 (1986): 15-23. Web. .
Powell, Benjamin. "In Defense of "Sweatshops"" Benjamin Powell,. Liberty Fund, Inc., 2 June 2008. Web. 09 June 2016. .

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