Reliable childcare

"In some factories they give sleeping pills to the children to keep them quiet. Whenever I came to the nursery, all the children were sleeping and my daughter was always sick.”
- Prabhavathi, 29, Bangalore, India

#Who's watching out? Mothers and children in factories

Pregnant workers toil to the point of total exhaustion. Young working mothers face the dilemma: do they leave their babies alone? Do they send them far away to their relatives? Or do they leave them "stored" in dark factory rooms - without care, employment and often sedated with medication?

Although childcare at the workplace is required by law in India and Bangladesh, it is hardly implemented in textile factories or is very substandard. As a consequence, young children remain alone at home, are looked after by older overburdened siblings or sent to family members living far away. In these circumstances, older siblings have no access to education and need to help at home. This only reinforces the vicious circle of lack of education, poverty and exploitation.

In the factories, the young women are made to work under gruelling and inhuman conditions and with tight deadlines to meet the quotas set by major fashion brands - even when they are pregnant. Without adequate maternity leave and adequate care facilities for children under 6 years of age, they are exposed to extreme stress at work and at home putting their health and well-being at risk.

FEMNET is committed to the rights of mothers and children with our day care projects in India and Bangladesh and with the campaign "#Who's watching out?

"It is not enough if children in crèches are only given good physical care, such as food and drinks. Healthy development of children also refers to good emotional care - people who are in contact with them and who address them personally, because small children need an intensive emotional exchange with a caregiver for a healthy brain development".
Prof. Dr. med. Karl Heinz Brisch, child and youth psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Our goals

Together with our partner organisations, we are campaigning for fashion companies to work with their suppliers in India and Bangladesh to ensure good quality childcare and rights of pregnant workers within the framework of legal requirements.

This is what we want to achieve:

  1. Statutory health care and maternity protection are guaranteed.
  2. Textile factories create qualified care facilities for small children up to six years.
  3. Authorities and trade unions control factory crèches more effectively. Quality criteria for crèches become an integral part of audits.
  4. Multi-stakeholder consultations establish better cooperation between stakeholders and promote the development of best practices.
  5. Factory management, supervisors, workers and NGOs demand the rights of women and children and know how to implement them.
  6. The difficulties of working mothers are well known and discussed in public in the production countries and in Germany.

Jetzt Video mit Youtube -Cookies laden

Our activities and measures

Unterschriftenübergabe #werpasstauf. Foto: © FEMNET

Creating awareness and demanding responsibility

To increase pressure on manufacturing companies, we started an online campaign and 14,225 people signed our petition.

Activ in Germany...

Foto: © FEMNET

Creating care facilities, training staff, and networking

In India and Bangladesh, we support partner organizations in their efforts to improve the care situation for children and the protection of mothers in the factories.



At one glance

- Subject:
Rights of mothers and children
- Countries:
- Partner:
Cividep, India
BCWS, Bangladesh
- Donor:
Engagement Global Misereor
- Contact:
Sina Marx