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Harassment of Female Farmworkers - Can the Legal System Help?

Maria Linda Ontiveros

University of San Francisco - School of Law


This paper provides an in depth and highly textured description of "sexual harassment" as experienced by female farmworkers in California. It explains how the harassment is affected by the extremity of the consequences she faces if she does not comply with the harassment; the structural difficulties in the reporting of and response to these incidents of sexual harassment; the sexualization of migrant women; the cultural factors that influence the harassment; and the fluidity of her workplace. It then critiques both current legal doctrine and current feminist theories of sexual harassment as inadequate to address these workers' concerns. It suggests an alternative, contextual approach to "sexual harassment" that would better help female farmworkers, as well as provide a more satisfactory theoretical framework for all female workers. This paper will appear as a chapter in the book Multiple Voices: Reworking Women's Labor in the Global Economy, edited by Sharon Harley and Lynne Bolles, and to be published by Rutgers University Press.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: sexual harassment, farmworkers, immigrant women, intersectionality, immigrant workers

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Date posted: August 3, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Ontiveros, Maria Linda, Harassment of Female Farmworkers - Can the Legal System Help? (2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.920940

Contact Information

Maria Linda Ontiveros (Contact Author)
University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States
415-422-5365 (Phone)

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