The Mail was wrong about ‘feminist’ t-shirt

THIS is what a feminist looks like: Actress Emma Watson has recently been using her role as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador to promote HeForShe, a campaign that fights for equal rights - for both genders - by inspiring men and boys to support gender equality. If the Fawcett shirt is good enough for her, it's good enough for us!

THIS is what a feminist looks like: Actress Emma Watson has recently been using her role as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador to promote HeForShe, a campaign that fights for equal rights – for both genders – by inspiring men and boys to support gender equality. If the Fawcett shirt is good enough for her, it’s good enough for us!

It’s all bad news for the Mail on Sunday.

Not only did it target the wrong people with its report stating that t-shirts proclaiming “This is what a feminist looks like” were made in a sweatshop, but now the charity that commissioned them has made it clear that the claim isn’t even accurate.

The Fawcett Society had the shirts made and sold them in Whistles shops. Yesterday it revealed that “expansive and current evidence” showed that the CMT factory in Mauritius that Whistles used to produce the shirts “conforms to ethical standards”.

The evidence shows that all of the workers are paid more than the government-mandated minimum wage and all are paid according to their skills and years of service.

The standard working week is 45 hours, and workers are compensated, at a higher rate of pay, for any overtime worked.

There is a high level of staff retention and employees are offered training and development. Workers are able to join a union and there is a union presence in the factor.

In addition, an audit into the CMT factory was carried out only last month (October 2014), by an independent not-for-profit organisation, and this did not reveal any material concerns on the working conditions, welfare or the health and safety of workers.

In many ways, it seems this factory provides better conditions than are currently available in the UK, with no zero-hours contracts, overtime paid at a higher rate, and staff training available.

Fawcett’s deputy CEO, Eva Neitzert, said the charity was not taking the evidence at face value and was examining it with the help of an international trade union.

“The evidence we have seen categorically refutes the assertion that the ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirts produced by Whistles were made in a sweatshop,” she said.

“Whilst we have confidence in the evidence provided to us, we are currently working closely with an international trade union body to scrutinise it so that we can be absolutely assured of its provenance, authenticity and that all findings are robust and factual.

“Further, whilst Fawcett has a UK remit, we are nonetheless acutely concerned with the inequalities women across the globe face. We recognise that investment in developing countries is vital and support this provided decent labour standards are adhered to.

“We will continue to work with Elle and Whistles on this project.”

The Mail on Sunday raised its objections to the shirts after Labour Party leader Ed Miliband was photographed wearing one for a special feminism-based issue of Elle magazine, and Harriet Harman wore one in the House of Commons to mock Tory leader David Cameron.

It seems Mr Cameron – who has very few women in his cabinet – had declined to wear the shirt, claiming that he did not have the time to put it on.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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10 thoughts on “The Mail was wrong about ‘feminist’ t-shirt

    1. Steve Rudd

      You will see an apology from the Daily Heil on the day that John Prescott buys a Chumbawamba record and the Devil goes past the kitchen window on a skateboard. Don’t hold your breath.

      1. aturtle05

        Hey, Mike Sivier says he lives next door to hell, I’m riddled with arthritis and trying to look after my 85 year old dad in a ConDem governed country.

        I’m in hell and the devil skates past on his board daily!

  1. marcusdemowbray

    I wonder if the Daily Fail apologises, especially to Ed Milliband. I aslo wonder if the apology will be given the same huge prominence. Somehow I think that is highly unlikely, in fact they concocted this story deliberately as Character Assasination.

    Daily Fail: You have NO PLACE in a Democracy, CLEAR OFF!

  2. Ian

    If this is all correct then unfortunately the best The Fawcett Society can hope for is an apology hidden away in the middle of the paper in small print and which will be ignored by almost everybody.

  3. wildswimmerpete

    “It seems Mr Cameron – who has very few women in his cabinet – had declined to wear the shirt, claiming that he did not have the time to put it on.”

    …………….that’s because his silly suit, collar and Conservative tie would need surgical removal.

  4. hellsbells46

    All part of the tory dirty tricks campaign now underway. Feeling heartily sick of it all already

Comments are closed.