The textile and clothing industry in India employs an estimated 35 million people, and much of the country’s production occurs in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Behind the scenes of this bustling industry, a troubling practice called the Sumangali Scheme continues to put the rights and lives of millions of young women at risk.
In May 2012, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Solidaridad-South & South East Asia released a research report on the Sumangali Scheme - the practice of paying young women a lump sum to be used for a dowry at the end of a three-year term. Written by Solidaridad with support from the FLA, this report provides an overview of the Sumangali Scheme, presents stakeholder views, and offers the perspectives of some of the women and their families who are affected by this practice. The report also presents a set of recommendations for improvements including: raising awareness of the Sumangali Scheme at the community level; strengthening government support; and involving stakeholders of the overall supply chain.
Download the report below, and read first-hand accounts from some of the women affected by the Sumangali Scheme.