“In Limbo”: Gaps in Representing Domestic Service Workers in Feminist and Labor Demands
In the essay, the authors explain that International Women’s Day originated in the intersection of feminist and labor demands, yet the demands of women domestic service workers are largely sidelined in many of today's feminist actions. Through a series of interviews, leaders from domestic workers’ unions highlight key differences in relation to many feminist repertoires, including barriers to participation in marches due to having multiple work shifts, a lack of comprehensive understanding of care work, and an inconsistent focus on the material conditions that reproduce gender-based violence.
To better support paid domestic workers, labor conditions must be at the forefront of feminist struggles and domestic service workers must be allowed to assume leadership positions in labor federations, the authors assert. Additionally, countries like Colombia must advance policies to formalize domestic service work, as more than 80% of these workers — most of them women — lack formal employment and social security. It is an urgent task to better support the women who are often the workforce behind those who go out and protest.
Post Date: 03-23-2023