Previous PageTable Of Contents


This report is dedicated to women maquiladora workers who, although they may not always win the fight against sex discrimination, never fail to see its injustice and to hope for a better future.

This report was written by LaShawn R. Jefferson and Phoebe McKinney. It was edited by Regan Ralph, executive director of the women’s rights division, and Dorothy Q. Thomas, founding executive director of the women’s rights division. Kerry McArthur and Laura Rusu, associates with the women’s rights division, provided invaluable production assistance. Production assistance also provided by Patrick Minges.

We would like to thank the women workers interviewed for this report. The women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch is also extremely grateful for the help of women’s rights and labor rights groups in Mexico, including Edgar Krueger, at the American Friends Service Committee (afsc); Mary Tong, at the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers; the Comité de Obreras Fronterizas (Committee of Women Border Workers) (cfo); the Comité Independiente de Chihuahua Pro-Defensa de Derechos Humanos (Pro-Defense of Human Rights Independent Committee of Chihuahua) (cich); and Gregoria Rodríguez.

None of this work would have been possible without the commitment of border-area activists who every day fight for peace and justice by promoting respect for labor rights in Mexico.

The women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch is grateful to the General Service Foundation, the Moriah Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Sandler Family Supporting Fund for their especially generous support, which allowed us to investigate and write this report.

Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Women’s Rights Division was established in 1990 to monitor violence against women and gender discrimination throughout the world. Regan E. Ralph is the executive director; LaShawn R. Jefferson is the deputy director; Samya Burney, Chirumbidzo Mabuwa, and Martina Vandenberg are research associates; Kerry McArthur and Laura Rusu are the associates; and A. Widney Brown and Roya Boroumand are consultants. Kathleen Peratis is chair of the advisory committee and Nahid Toubia is the vice chair.

Web Site Address:
Listserv address: To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to with “subscribe hrw-news” in the body of the message (leave the subject line blank).

Previous PageTable Of Contents