The “Ain’t I a Woman!?” campaign grew from a small group of garment workers who successfully held DKNY accountable for sweatshop conditions. This become a call for a new women’s movement fighting for control over our time, health, respect and payment for caregiving work. DKNY workers have been joined by other women workers who also have tolerated abusive conditions for the sake of their families — such as the workers of Liberty Apparel’s factories, Great Wall, and Cache. Many women are inspired by the example of these workers who risked so much to fight to be treated with respect like human beings, and to have some say about their working conditions and time.
Our campaign has drawn in women workers from across the board who are experiencing longer hours, lower wages and worsening conditions. Whether we work in a corporate law firm or a garment factory, control over our time and our lives is slipping away.
A century after Sojourner Truth’s struggles against racism and sexism, women workers are stepping up the fight against the most destructive form that modern-day racism and sexism has taken: economic segregation and the perception that crumbs are better than nothing. Refusing to be treated like slaves or second-class citizens, we are coming together to build upon Sojourner Truth’s struggle and proclaiming Ain’t I a Woman!?