About the report
Estimates suggest that there may be as many as 100 million domestic workers worldwide. Together, they would be the twelfth most populous country on Earth. And yet, there’s a good chance you know little to nothing about them or their working conditions.
Recent debates around unpaid care work have drawn attention to the importance of valuing the care economy. States around the world typically invest little in the care economy such as the provision of day care services or elderly care. As a result, paid domestic workers step in to bridge this investment gap, subsidising middle and upper income households, lowering the cost that employers must sustain to maintain employees and their families, and subsidising the public sector in providing care services that might otherwise be a state responsibility.
As they work in individual homes, domestic workers have long been invisible and voiceless, and as a result, they are often excluded from conditions and provisions that most workers take for granted such as established working hours, a minimum wage, social security and maternity leave.
For the first time, ILO Convention 189: decent work for domestic workers, approved on the 16 June 2011, mandates state-supported protection for these workers. This convention is a great stride towards equality of labour rights and perhaps marks the beginning of the end of discrimination against domestic workers.
The launch is designed to raise awareness on the conditions of paid domestic workers and share learning about their advocacy efforts in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to stand up for their rights in ratifying ILO Convention 189. These cases will then be compared with conditions in other regions where women workers in the informal economy face similar challenges to organise and stand up for their rights.
List of speakers
Dr. Naila Kabeer is Professor of Gender and Development at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. She is co-editor with Ratna Sudarshan and Kirsty Milward of Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy: Beyond the weapons of the weak? and co-author of the article Organising women workers in the informal economy (2013).
Dr. Rodrigo Julian Mogrovejo Monasterios is the ILO National Project Coordinator for the ratification of Convention 189 in Bolivia.
Tom Aston is a Governance Advisor at CARE International UK. He is author of the learning paper Making decent work a reality for domestic workers: civil society’s experience of ratifying ILO Convention 189 in the Andes and was in charge of the study on which the paper is based.
Venue: One Great George Street, Westminster SW1P 3 AA
Date: Tuesday 8 April, 9am-11 am