No jobs for Married women in iPhone factory In India? Foxconn faces discrimination claims

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NEW DELHI,India/Reuters/- Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple, has been refusing to hire married women at its main iPhone assembly plant in India. Two married woman were turned away from jobs at an iPhone factory in southern India, an investigation by Reuters revealed.

Foxconn executives have verbally instructed Indian hiring agencies to exclude married women, citing family responsibilities and potential pregnancy as reasons. Some hiring agencies have even helped female candidates hide their marital status to secure jobs.

Reasons Behind job denial

Parvathi and Janaki, two sisters in their 20s from a nearby village experienced this discrimination personally. In March 2023, they visited the Foxconn facility in Chennai after seeing job postings on WhatsApp.

When Parvathi and Janaki arrived at the Foxconn facility, a security guard questioned them if they both were married. Parvathi explained “We didn’t get the jobs because we are both married.” Moreover, even the autorickshaw driver who brought them to the facility told them that married woman were not hired, as per the report.

Foxconn Faces Accusations Over Hiring Practices

Previously, Foxconn has been accused of rejecting married women from its workforce in Sriperumbudur, India. This was because their traditional metal ornaments could interfere with the manufacturing process and potentially damage iPhone components. However, the company claims that married women are allowed to wear these ornaments while working at its facilities.

Apple and Foxconn Address Hiring Process Issues

In 2022, Apple and Foxconn acknowledged lapses in their hiring process but did not address incidents from 2023 and 2024. While Indian law does not prohibit discrimination based on marital status, both Apple and Foxconn have policies against it. Apple claims to uphold the “highest supply chain standards in the industry” and states that Foxconn does employ some married women in India.

Concerns Discriminatory Policies at Foxconn

Multiple sources within Foxconn and its affiliated recruitment agencies confirm this discriminatory policy. They expressed concerns about traditional jewellery worn by married Hindu women such as toe rings and metal necklaces which could pose security risks from theft or cause electrostatic discharge during manufacturing, according to Reuters.

Foxconn’s exclusion of married women from its workforce at the iPhone assembly plant in India has raised concerns about the company’s recruitment policies and potential gender discrimination. In response, Foxconn and Apple stated that they had improved their hiring procedures in 2022. However, a Reuters investigation revealed that these discriminatory practices continued into 2023 and 2024.

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