According to ILO there are approximately 53 million domestic workers and 83 per cent of them are women. They provide crucial services to households around the world. Despite the clear contributions of the sector, domestic work is frequently not perceived as real work, performed within an employment relationship.Low levels of education among domestic workers and their position in society often limits their access to other job opportunities, pushing domestic workers into accepting poor conditions.  Empowering them is essential in protecting often forgotten and exploited members of society.

Here are 7 ways to empower domestic workers:

  1. Fair wages: this is the biggest obstacle to empowering domestic workers. This vulnerable group of society are susceptible to unlawful working hours and low wages.
  2. Fair working hours: improves their quality of life and should be aligned with international labour laws and standards.
  3. Skills development: this goes beyond knowledge in their field but attributes to personal growth and better participation in society.
  4. Access to financial support and financial support: information on retirement funds, funeral & life policies and access to family support services is important for long term planning and saving.
  5. Access to free (or reasonable) health facilities:  household work is physically demanding which takes a toll on the body. This is a great key to improve the physical and mental well being of domestic workers.
  6. National and regional campaigns are instrumental in raising awareness and informing both employers and employees on the rights of domestic workers. This will decrease exploitation and protect vulnerable groups in society.
  1. Governments must introduce laws and policies targeted at protecting this vulnerable group. Governments must set an example by protecting vulnerable groups and punishing those who exploit marginalised people.

 

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