Afro-descendant women in domestic work | International
is the headline of the news that the author of WTM News has collected this article. Stay tuned to WTM News to stay up to date with the latest news on this topic. We ask you to follow us on social networks.
In Latin America and the Caribbean there are around 14.8 million paid domestic workers, of which 91% are women, according to figures from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Of this percentage, the majority are Afro-descendant, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and indigenous women, girls and adolescents, who face unequal, undignified and precarious working conditions.
As a result of a patriarchal and sexist culture that devalues domestic work and justifies social practices of discrimination against domestic workers; millions of women dedicated to this work face a series of violence, including sexual violence, human trafficking, and even femicide; as well as other types of abuses such as non-payment of wages or payment of wages below the minimum established by law, denial of food, excessive working hours without days off, exploitation and workplace harassment, different forms of slavery, mistreatment psychological and emotional.
In addition, the practices inherited from colonialism and slavery continue to permeate the region, as there is a racialization of paid domestic work, where day by day those who face these working conditions, gender violence, racism, social exclusion and discrimination when carrying out their work are mainly Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and indigenous women and girls; a situation that can be aggravated by migration and forced displacement.
According to ECLAC data, only in Ecuador one in five women who perform paid domestic work is Afro-descendant, while in Brazil 68.4% of paid domestic workers are Afro-descendant. In countries such as Bvia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, Afro-descendant women are the majority of those who perform paid domestic work, compared to non-Afro-descendant women. While, in Uruguay, 72% of employed Afro-descendant women are dedicated to domestic work. These figures show the ethnic-racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequalities that afflict Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean women domestic workers in the hemisphere. Faced with the precarious situation of labor rights and structural discrimination, the COVID-19 pandemic had a greater impact on the lives of paid domestic workers, due to the lack of social security benefits, as well as the loss of between 25 and 50% of jobs in the region, according to figures from UN Women, affecting their family economies. Thus, the pandemic exposed the urgent need for States to guarantee health coverage and unemployment benefits for all domestic workers.
Since 2011, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has promoted Convention No. 189 to improve working conditions and eradicate abusive practices against domestic workers. Currently, 18 of the 35 countries that have ratified the Convention are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nevertheless, a pattern of rights violations against women persists in the hemisphere; Proof of this are the high regional rates of gender-based violence in general, and especially against domestic workers.
At the same time, in the inter-American normative framework –particularly the American Convention on Human Rights, the Protocol of San Salvador, the Convention of Belém do Pará and the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance – establish obligations to eradicate discrimination and violence based on gender and ethnic-racial origin, in order to guarantee the effective enjoyment of all their rights, including the right to decent and equitable working conditions. However, the legal frameworks and public policies in force in some States do not take into account international standards on the matter.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
On the International Day of Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Diaspora Women, we reiterate the obligations of States to guarantee decent and equal working conditions for the more than 14 million women domestic workers in the region, particularly we call to combat patterns of racial discrimination that persist in domestic work and that impact Afro-descendant women in the region. We recognize the importance of their work, as well as their contributions to the economy and the care of families in the hemisphere.
We emphasize that domestic workers, women of African descent, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and indigenous women have the right to a dignified life, to decent work, with equal conditions and to live a life free of violence.
Leave a Reply