This #InternationalWomensDay we’ll be taking a look back at its historical origins, and women throughout history who’ve fought for the rights of other workers.
Under the military junta, union organising was outlawed in Myanmar until 2011. The recent military takeover threatens the burgeoning labour movement that has been growing since then. The garment sector is the country’s biggest export, but the majority of factories are foreign owned.
Ma Moe Sandar Myint became a garment worker in the summer holidays at high school, and began full time work as a clerk there afterwards.
Her employer did not pay the minimum wage at her factory. After seeing young women leading strikes, she decided to get involved. 20 years on, she’s still fighting for workers’ right, and is now a key organiser in the Federation of Garment Workers.
"Eight or nine years ago, strikes were led by men. Employers decided to not hire male workers at high rates. Women workers were hired because the employers thought women workers wouldn’t fight the employer. What happened was the opposite. Women workers are also willing to go on strike.”