Beyond the Beauty of a Dozen Roses: Implications of Free Trade on Women Workers in Colombia's Cut Flower Industry
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Under the prevailing global capitalist model, increased access to the formal economy for women is touted as a panacea to women´s empowerment and gender equality. Despite an unprecedented increase in women's participation in the global workforce and international labor standards, women are often assigned to precarious and exploitative low-wage work with little opportunity for social mobility. This thesis examines the effects of U.S.-Colombia Free Agreement and Labor Action Plan on women workers in Colombia's cut flower export-oriented industry. The impacts of free trade on women are contradictory, and despite hopes for the Labor Action Plan, women in the cut flower industry have seen little improvement in the working conditions and gender inequality. I explore the ways in which women actively resist exploitation and argue that women face powerful structural barriers to collective action under the imperialist and racist order of the capitalist patriarchy enshrined in Free Trade Agreements.