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Women in action: A grassroots perspective on promoting seasonal agricultural worker rights in Auquinco, Chile
Huaroc, Juliana Mazuky
Swanson, KatherineEsbenshade, Jill
For over four decades, Chile’s government has promoted neoliberal policies that favor export-oriented fruit production, which offers seasonal and temporary labor to women. The precarious nature of the employment of female laborers in the fruit industry is characterized by a lack of basic labor protections, high occupational risks, low wages, and long workdays with no overtime pay. The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the effects of Chile’s fruit export industry on the lives of women in Auquinco - a rural community of agricultural workers within the largest fruit producing region in the country. The study also seeks to contextualize current efforts at worker and community organizing in order to better understand labor rights and advocacy from the perspective of women at the grassroots level. Civil society groups, such as the National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (Asociación Nacional de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas, ANAMURI) and the Rural and Indigenous Women of the Orilla de Auquinco (Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas de la Orilla de Auquinco, ORIMURI), are defending the economic, social and political rights of seasonal laborers through training, education and outreach, especially where government service provision is limited at the local, regional and national levels.This study addresses the contradiction between Chile’s economic success and precarious employment for women. Due to the exclusion of seasonal laborers from public policy, the struggles of these women will likely continue to be a major issue for years to come. The research design was qualitative and included fourteen one-on-one interviews with rural Chilean women residing in the Colchagua Province. Current and former seasonal laborers shared insight on fruit harvest employment, working conditions, and participation in civil society groups - namely ORIMURI and ANAMURI. With this study I attempt to fill the gap in literature on female seasonal laborers by focusing specifically on the viable strategies employed by local community members in response to the precarious nature of fruit production in Chile. The intended benefit of this study is a more robust understanding of the strategies employed to advocate for labor rights, which will lead to better-informed federal policies and programs.
Public AdministrationLatin American Studies
Public AffairsLatin American Studies
Health and Human ServicesArts and Letters
San Diego State University
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) San Diego State University, 2019
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2019
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