Women’s Voices from Kenya. Maggie Opondo University of Nairobi Department of Geography & Environmental Studies. Kenya’s Cut Flower Industry. Globalization’s success story Oldest and most successful in Africa 2 nd largest foreign exchange earner Employment (40,000-50,000)
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University of Nairobi
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies
“last year I had a baby and could even go back at midnight and the child’s health was really affected. There is a time I stayed for two days without my child because I would leave early in the morning and get back home very late at night”.
“pregnancy is not in the hands but in the stomach” (Female workers imitate male supervisor deriding light duties for expectant mothers)
“my baby refused to breastfeed because my milk was smelling of chemicals” (Breastfeeding mother)
“most of us here have abortions, even at eight months to avoid the risk of being sacked” (Female casual worker)
“when a male supervisor seduces a female worker and this doesn’t bear fruit, he can use ‘thorax’ (i.e. job power to win that female worker” (Female worker)
“It is not enough at all. For housing I pay KSh 400, school fees are about KSh 500 per month, food about KSh 1500 , water about KSh 200, clothing about KSh 600, and sickness which varies and since the salary is about KSh 3000 per month, then I strain [to make ends meet] ” (Female worker)
“It is as if the union the unions just want money from us”
Entire unionizable workforce sacked and replaced with new employees, without the union taking action