Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Sara Burgess


Understanding Beyond the Cloth

This thesis conducts a textual analysis of several human rights organizations. It looks at how human rights organizations represent women in the garment industry. I investigate a variety of organizations and look at how they utilize women’s voices to demonstrate how human rights organizations frame women’s narratives in a way that supports their own claims. When organizations representing women in this way, it only limits women’s voices from being heard and hinders them from being empowered and a leading force in the industry. On the one hand, we see organizations create spaces where women’s narratives are exposed and provide images where we as an audience can put a face to women in the garment industry. On the other hand, we see organizations use women’s voice and images in a way that frames ideas, which gears the audience’s attention to take action on certain issues. This thesis demonstrates that scholars and organizations need to pay attention to how they represent women in human rights.