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tutorial logo "Alto a Guardian" (Stop Operation Gatekeeper) by the Border Arts Workshop on the wall between the United States and Mexico that extends into the Pacific Ocean.
Stop Operation Gatekeeper, ©Women's Studies, Smith College


This tutorial examines the purpose of a website. Since intention is often closely related to who created a site, one must consider this important connection. Using the search strategy - maquiladora OR maquiladoras Mexico "women workers" - you will see below one of the sites retrieved by Google.

screen capture, Google search for (maquiladora OR maquiladoras) Mexico "women workers" and the result for "Stop Sex Discrimination in Mexican Maquiladoras" ... medical staff, and maquiladora workers ... against women workers in the US ... in the maquiladoras and to ... abuses against women by US ... Embassy in Mexico to investigate ... - 9k = 09 Jan 2002 - Cached - Similar pages.  "International Corporations Violate Women's Rights in Mexico ..." ... discrimination in the maquiladoras ... Watch calls on Mexico to take immediate ... in the maquiladora sector to end ... including requiring women workers to show ... - 10k - Cached - Similar pages [More results from]

The URL suffix (.com, .edu, .gov, .org, etc.) often provides a big clue about the purpose of a site by revealing the type of institution that mounted it.

What type of institution produced this site?


Take a look at the actual site, from Human Rights Watch, and then answer the question below:

screen capture, "Human Rights Watch" International Corporations Violate Women's Rights in Mexico (Mexican Government Allows Pregnancy Discrimination by International Business).  New York, 29 December 1998 -- In a report released today, Human Rights Watch documents the Mexican government's failure to enforce its own labor labws in the export processing (maquiladora) sector.  In violation of Mexican labor law, maquiladora operators oblige women to undergo pregnancy testing as a condition of work.  Women thought to be pregnant are not hired.  Among the corporations engaging in this practice, which violates both Mexican and international law, are such international corporations as Lanis & Staefa, Samsung Group, Matsushita Electric Corp., Sunbeam-Oster, Sanyo, Thomson Corporate Worldwide, Siemens AG, and Pacific Dunlop.  However, the vast majority of companies engaging in this practice are U.S.-owned, including Lear, Johnson Controls, and Tyco International.  The Human Rights Watch report [link] "A Job or Your Rights: Continued Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector," documents how companies demand that women produce urine specimens for pregnancy exams and how maquiladora doctors and nurses examine women's abdomens or require them to reveal private information about menses schedule, birth control use, and sexual activity as a means to determine pregnancy.  " This is flagrant sex discrimination that these corporatinos would never dare to defend or practice in their own countries.  When corporations say that is discrimination is permissable under Mexican labor law, they are in fact hiding behind Mexico's own negligence," states Regan Ralph, Executive Director of the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

This site is produced by an organization. Unlike commercial (.com) sites that are in the business of selling you something, or educational (.edu) sites, which represent colleges and universities, activist (.org) websites have a particular point of view that they hope to convince visitors to share.

What is the purpose of this site?


"Human Rights Watch" is an organization interested in informing the general public about the discrimination of female workers in maquiladoras, particularly with respect to pregnancy testing as a condition of employment and the forced resignations of employees found to be pregnant. Because this document calls on the Mexican government and corporate owners to comply with existing labor laws, one can also argue that its purpose is to advocate and persuade.

[Note that this is a press release describing a report. The recommended actions are further spelled out in the fulltext of the report, which is linked to the press release pictured here.]

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