Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 26: Reproductive and sexual health
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Department of Industrial Hygiene 2015
The majority of workers in export factories, both women and men, are of the age when they are sexually active and raising a family. But instead of taking into account these central activities of people’s lives, the conditions in many factories can make pregnancy difficult, cause birth defects, and lead to reproductive cancers and illnesses for young workers. Even though it is against national and international labor and health standards, factories are dangerous to workers’ reproductive and sexual health.
Workers need factories that:
- do not discriminate against, penalize, or fire women who get pregnant or have children
- provide maternity and paternity leave, and time off for parents to care for children when necessary
- improve working conditions and replace chemicals that harm men’s and women’s reproductive health
- make access easy to on-site or nearby quality health clinics and childcare centers