Introduction

Many young women in rural Tamil Nadu go to work in textile mills and garment factories producing clothes for export to the UK and elsewhere. Conditions in these factories, where young women workers live on-site or in factory-controlled hostels, are very poor.

Organising and fighting for rights is very challenging in this context, which is why efforts are now being made to form organisations and groups of women in the villages where they are recruited. It has already proven very powerful for these women to know there are other women halfway around the world who are supportive of their organising efforts. This is why we have developed this photo-sharing project enabling women workers in India and the UK to share photos about their lives, as a first step to getting to know each other and building a strong solidarity relationship.

Thanks to the Scurrah Wainwright Charity for supporting this project.

Thamarai (Lotus)

We are supporting a small group of women organisers in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu who are working with young textile and garment workers. They are in the very early stages of forming an organised group and learning about their rights. This photo project is one of the first activities they have undertaken together, working to document the everyday lives, paid and unpaid work, of women in their local area.

Y&H TUC Women’s Forum

The Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Women’s Forum is a group of women trade unionists and activists who meet regularly to discuss, learn about and campaign on issues of concern to women workers. This includes issues affecting women in their region, nationally and internationally.