For years Nike has boosted its corporate image by promoting The Girl Effect, the idea that investing in girls’ education, self-esteem, and job prospects will enable them to reinvest in their families and alleviate poverty around the world.
In a year-long project published by Slate, Maria Hengeveld spoke to women workers at Nike factories who told her about conditions that violate many precepts of The Girl Effect: terrible child care options, ongoing humiliation by managers, and wages so low they can not meet their basic needs, let alone help break the cycle of poverty.
The voices of the women she spoke to — all of whom work or work for Nike-supplying factories — raise important questions about Nike’s investment in PR rather than in its workers.
Founded in 1904 and based in Geneva, the International Alliance of Women (IAW) is an international NGO comprising 41 member organizations involved in the promotion of the human rights of women and girls globally. The IAW has general consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and is accredited to many specialized UN agencies, has participatory status with the Council of Europe and is represented at the Arab League, the African Union and other international organizations.