Sweatshop in Zababdeh only choice for some women

September 17, 2010 No Comments

To help local women earn money to supplement their family’s income, Fr. Firas and his sister, Dema, started a sewing project in Zababdeh.

Dema manages a staff of six women, both Muslims and Christians, who sew clothes for an Israeli company.  Fr. Firas considers it a sweatshop because of the unfair wages the women are paid by the Israeli company for their product.  Each of the women make about 700 shekels a month, enough to pay for basic needs.  Dema receives about 1,000 shekels per month.  With that she pays the buildings rent, water and electricity and is able to pay for some basic needs of her family.

The price tag on one pair of pants was 171 shekels, 25 percent of one woman’s salary for one month.  But, the women continue to work because work is scarce and they have no other choice.

Fr. Firas and Dema are happy to be able to provide work for women in Zababdeh, even if it pays little.  Dema hopes her children will have a better life, not having to depend on others for help.

Listen to Fr. Firas and Dema talk about the sewing project.

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