Political Institutions, NGOs, and Accountability in the Borderlands
Mexico’s labor laws offer generous benefits for pregnancy and maternity leave for those in the formal economy. Women are to receive paid leave for 12 weeks, and half of their salary for another 60 days within the first year after birth. Yet maquikdoras routinely screen for pregnancy. Under a new institution created through NAFTA, the secretary of the U.S. National Administrative Office (NAO), Irasema Garza, consulted with her Mexican counterpart and hearings about a formal complaint were held at the border, from which the epigraph above was taken. Mexico did not send representatives. A 1998 NAO report indicated that Mexico violated its own laws and the International Labour Organization Convention 111.1 In Ciudad Juárez, year 2001, after the U.S. economic downturn led to layoffs in the maquilas, the word on the streets was that the first to be downsized are the women with swelling bellies.
KeywordsPolitical Institution Nongovernmental Organization Political Opportunity Structure Community Development Block Grant Environmental Defense Fund
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