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Contact Admin. Jefferson, executive director of the Women's Rights Division. Smita Varia, associate with the Women's Rights Division, provided production assistance. This report would not have been possible without the assistance of numerous individuals and organizations in Guatemala who provided us with invaluable information and support. The author extends a special thank-you to Amanda Pop Bol and Ricardo Changala for their input, as well as Emanuele Tassinari for accompanying the author through the process.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to the many working women in Guatemala who shared their experiences with us. Her day ended at 10 or 11 p. She explained, however, "I hardly ever rest, not even for a minute. There's no fixed time for meals. They interrupt me while I'm eating. Miriam de Rosario, twenty-seven years old, was fired from her job at Modas One Korea maquiladora at the end of May The director of personnel told De Rosario that she could not continue working because she was pregnant, because this meant she would not work extra hours, could not be made to stand for long periods of time, and would not work as hard as others.
These women's experiences are stark examples of the obstacles working women and girls in Guatemala encounter to their full and equal participation in the labor force. Poor women, with little or no education, suffer gender-specific abuses when they work as domestic workers or maquiladora line operators.
Live-in domestic workers, situated in private homes and performing "unskilled" tasks considered to be "women's work," are denied key labor rights protections in the Guatemalan labor code and are acutely vulnerable to sexual harassment. Maquiladora line operators, sewing in the global assembly line, are discriminated against on the basis of their reproductive status pregnancy and maternity status and access to reproductive health care.
Working women in both sectors face sex discrimination at the hands of government officials and private citizens, while indigenous women working in these sectors suffer the devastating impact of discrimination based both on sex and ethnicity. Domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are women and girls, do not enjoy equal protection under the law.