Together, women workers from a multitude of industries – nurses, teachers, restaurant workers, retail workers, and federal government contractors – demanded respect, safety, and decent, living wage jobs


Top: At Women Workers Rising rally with Angeles Solis, USAS, Sophorn Yang, CATU, Judy Gearhart, ILRF, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Photo by ILRF. 

Bottom: Judy Gearhart with Sophorn Yang, getting ready to march to the U.S. Department of Labor. Photo by Getty Images for V-Day.

Dear Kevin,

I continue to be inspired by all the powerful worker testimonies and artistic performances from the Women Workers Rising rally held at the Department of Labor on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Together, women workers from a multitude of industries – nurses, teachers, restaurant workers, retail workers, and federal government contractors – demanded respect, safety, and decent, living wage jobs. This was a great start to our Women Workers Rising campaign, which we hope you will support both financially and by joining upcoming actions online and in the street!

I was especially thrilled on March 8th that we could have Sophorn Yang with us from the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, one of the most inspiring women worker leaders I know. As the only female president of an independent Cambodian union federation, Sophorn represents 10,000 mostly women garment workers who are facing some very tough obstacles to securing decent wages and having their voices heard at work. Her story of rising up from garment worker to union leader provides hope for so many workers. Sophorn has faced threats, including at gunpoint, and continues to face years of legal harassment in retaliation for organizing workers. Yet she continues to fight!

After teaching the March 8th protesters how to chant “Women Workers Resist!” in Khmer, Sophorn joined the United Methodist Women’s delegation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings in New York City. Her testimony and advocacy helped to advance the calls for a new International Labour Organization Convention to stop gender-based violence at work.

Sophorn also called on Nike to stop trying to repress worker voices in their supply chain. Nike is currently trying to block the Worker Rights Consortium – which monitors factories supplying U.S. universities in response to worker complaints. This week we kicked off a U.S. speaking tour with Sophorn, together with United Students Against Sweatshops, to help build awareness about Cambodian workers’ struggle and to pressure Nike to change course — find out here if the tour is coming to a city near you.

Wherever you live, there are both online and offline actions that you can do to help echo the demands of the tour. Click here to find sample posts for social media and more.

Thanks in advance for your support for this tour and campaign!

In solidarity,

Judy Gearhart
Executive Director

P.S. Today, please consider supporting ILRF’s work that makes this Women Workers Resist! tour possible. A donation of $25, $50, or $100 makes an incredible impact in our work with partners around the world. Thank you!

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About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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