The harsh reality for farmworkers also includes little to no access to healthcare, poor occupational safety and frequent accidents on the job without healthcare support from the employer. There’s also considerable exposure to toxic chemicals while working in the fields, which creates more health concerns. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that women farmworkers face additional problems such as poor access to children services, and sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up