The Gendered Impact of Anti-Sweatshop Activism in Indonesia


In the 1990’s, international activists launched an anti-sweatshop movement in order to improve working conditions and worker pay in overseas factories operated by Nike, Adidas, and Reebok.  This project quantifies the effect of the anti-sweatshop movement on empowerment of female textile workers in Indonesia.  I use a differences-in-difference design, by comparing differences among female textile workers before and after 1995-1996 in sub-districts with textile factories operated by targeted firms and in sub-districts with textile factories operated by other firms.  Preliminary results indicate that women do not marry later nor have fewer children.  However, women report using contraception at higher rates.  These results suggest that worker reforms in industries with predominantly female labor forces can generate small improvements in female autonomy and empowerment.

Last updated on 12/13/2019