Young Women Speaking the Economy
Working for Just Salt (India)
Working for Just Salt
Tuticorin, India. 2007-2008. Digital.
India is one of the top salt producing countries in the world, exporting approximately 2.5 million tons of salt to more than 35 countries. Salt mining is incredibly grueling work, and women are a large part of the workforce. Indeed, many of the mining companies exploit their workers, providing them with zero safety measures and inhumane wages. Though women dominate the industry, they are still paid less than men with similar positions. Due to the nature of the environment, the workers often suffer from exposure to saline and get occupational illnesses such as vision impairment and/or blindness. Many of the women workers are from low social and economic castes, and the stories of suffering women laborers remain largely untold. However, some organizations are working to correct the wrongs against salt miners, including Gantar, an NGO that offers education to salt pan workers' children, and the Self-Employed Women's Association, a trade union based in India that advocates for women in the unprotected labor force, including those in the salt mines.