Around 85% of workers in Lesotho's textiles industry are women. They are often paid less than their male colleagues, struggle to gain equal access to promotion opportunities and are denied basic entitlements such as maternity leave. On top of these injustices, many female workers fear for their personal safety at the end of night shifts.
Through a new two-year project that started in June 2011, Skillshare International is working with trade unions in Lesotho to protect women's rights and improve conditions for vulnerable workers in the textile industry.
According to UN figures, 58% of Lesotho's population lives below the poverty line and 23% are living with HIV, placing an additional burden on women, as the main care-givers, and the country's 280,000 orphans and vulnerable children.
The project is part-funded by a £120,000 grant from DFID's Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector Challenge Fund.