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Females from farming families struggle to survive in factory jobs

(08:26:52 AM 12/08/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - For many rural women, leaving their villages to work in industrial parks seems to be the only and best choice for their lives, but their life often does not become better.

In Bau Village, Dong Anh District, Hanoi, hundreds of workers of the Thang Long industrial park live in inns of only 10sq.m.


In Bau Village in Dai Dong Commune of Dong Anh District, Hanoi, there are hundreds of workers of the Thang Long industrial park who live in inns of only 10sq.m.
 
We met Khanh, a young female worker in her 10sq.m room, which is shared with five other girls.
 
Khanh, 21, said she left the field and several buffaloes to her parents and her two brothers to go to Hanoi to become a worker at Canon Company in North Thang Long industrial park, at the age of 18.
 
She said it was not too difficult for her to be recruited by Canon because her elder sister is also a worker there. But to adapt herself to the work, it took Khanh a long time.
 
Khanh works two consecutive days and has a day off to be paid nearly VND4 million ($180) a month. “I spent over VND1 million ($50) for myself and send VND3 million to my parents. My father is paralyzed and my mother do farmwork so they have to rely on me".
 
Leaving her village to Hanoi to work at a factory seems to be the only option of Khanh. She said assembling components in the factory is much better than transplanting rice and tending buffaloes outdoors.
 
She said her family earns only several million dong a year from their field and even had losses if the weather was bad or natural disasters occurred.
 
“My family is lucky to have a vast field. In other areas agricultural land is shrinking, so they do not have enough land for cultivation. What can we do other than working at factories?" Khanh said.
 
Khanh said after graduating from high school, she wanted to study further but her family could not afford it.
 
Moreover, she was also afraid of having no money to seek a job after studies so she decided to become a worker.
 
"Do you want to be a worker for your whole life?” we asked Khanh. She thought for a while and said: "I do not know. My contract will expire in one year. If I cannot get a new job, I will have to go back home. But then, what will I do at home?"
 
Khanh’s question startled us as both of us were well aware of the dark future of female workers like Khanh.
 
Vicious cycle
 
 
It is said that workers have hard lives but their suffering is not just about poor living standards but also the overturning of biological rhythms.
 
They often work in shifts, with one week working during the day and the next week at night, and a working day may be up to 12-14 hours. Many women have to quit their jobs because of health problems.
 
In addition, factories usually operate in chains, in which each worker specializes in only one stage, so it is hard for them to learn a profession. When their contracts end or when the factories cut staff, it is very difficult for them to find a new job.
 
Female workers also face the risk of "being alone" because their tight working schedule prevent them from having a chance to relax or date.
PLVN