Women working in banana and other tropical fruit production across Latin America and West Africa are increasingly struggling against instability, inequality and discrimination in the workplace. They often work 14 hours a day without overtime pay, lack the freedom to organise, and do not have their rights respected. Women are sacked for being pregnant, have no ante- or post-natal maternity rights and many suffer sexual harassment in the workplace. Moreover, high levels of toxic agrochemical use puts pregnant women and nursing mothers at high risk of negative health impacts for themselves and their (unborn) children.
Gender issues form one of the three priority areas of World Banana Forum Working Group 03.
Interview with trade union activist Iris Munguia, describing how lack of respect for workers' labour rights is widespread in Latin America, especially where there are no unions. Abuses include long working hours, low wages, discrimination and sexual harassment.