Vogue: One Million Stories
That little bag of tea you drop into your cup begins its journey in the highlands of Sri Lanka, where over a million people are employed in the tea industry— 80% of those people are women. Sri Lanka's women are the lowest social hierarchy and therefore paid the lowest wage. A single female worker typically plucks around 44 pounds of tea leaves per day. The daily harvest is then weighed and they are paid roughly 3.5 rupees per pound. Which averages to just shy of a single US dollar for a day of work. In 2006 industrial action took place within Sri Lanka bringing the countries collective wage up to almost 2 dollars. Yet, due to the fact that the majority of the workers on plantations are made up of uneducated and unskilled women, their wages have not increased to the same level.