Equal Value, Equal Rights

The program Equal Value, Equal Rights, is CARE’s impact multiplication strategy in Latin America, which seeks to advance the rights of millions of domestic workers in the region. For this, the program focuses on actions of political advocacy, articulation of national and global domestic workers’ organizations with international and regional organizations related to the subject, and in communication strategies of national/regional scope for employers’ sensitization and behavior change. CARE’s commitment to this population program is long-winded: we hope to positively impact the lives of 5 million domestic workers by the year 2020 and 10 million till 2030.

Equal Value, Equal Rights is a regional initiative that currently is being implemented in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. However, CARE’s experience with domestic workers’ organizations already started on 2010 in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia allowing our organization to systematize these experiences and learn together with domestic workers’ organizations at national and regional levels about what are the best strategies to continue advancing their rights.

EQUAL VALUE, EQUAL RIGHTS

The program Equal Value, Equal Rights, is CARE’s impact multiplication strategy in Latin America, which seeks to advance the rights of millions of domestic workers in the region. For this, the program focuses on actions of political advocacy, articulation of national and global domestic workers’ organizations with international and regional organizations related to the subject, and in communication strategies of national/regional scope for employers’ sensitization and behavior change. CARE’s commitment to this population program is long-winded: we hope to positively impact the lives of 5 million domestic workers by the year 2020 and 10 million till 2030.

Equal Value, Equal Rights is a regional initiative that currently is being implemented in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. However, CARE’s experience with domestic workers’ organizations already started on 2010 in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia allowing our organization to systematize these experiences and learn together with domestic workers’ organizations at national and regional levels about what are the best strategies to continue advancing their rights.

In Latin America, there are 19 million male and female workers performing domestic work activities in a private home and they represent about 7% of regional urban occupation (International Work Organization –ILO. 2012,). According to the ILO, in Latin America 37% of domestic work worldwide is performed, this is an eminently feminized and urban phenomenon. Women are about the 95% of domestic work force in Latin America. This is not only an obviously feminized occupation, but also, from a quantitative point of view, is the most important for women in the region: 15.3% of occupied women in the region work as domestic workers. Behind this activity, it is frequent not only the infringement of labor rights, but also human rights violations, violence in all its forms, and human trafficking. 8 out of 10 domestic workers in the region claim to have been victims of some type of violence in their workplaces. In most of the region’s countries, domestic work is the labor market gateway for women from the more economically impoverished areas, with fewer possibilities to access education and who live in environment of greater social exclusion.

It should be noted that domestic work has been fundamental in the region to facilitate the labor market insertion of many women from middle and high income sectors, which hire domestic support in the face of insufficient conciliation policies between work and family. Despite the immense contribution made by domestic workers taking care of millions of families in the continent, the average salary in Latin America for this type of work is only between 100 and 178 US dollars per month, less than half of what is needed to cover the cost of the basic family expenses in the region ($680 USD). In the case of domestic work, until year 2013, the informality rate in the region was 77.5%. Most domestic workers are not affiliated to their country’s social security system nor are protected by labor codes. In the case of unemployed or underemployed women, those who are most at risk of being affected by their human rights are refugee or migrant women; in Latin America, domestic workers represent up to 60% of internal and cross-border migrants. Also, it is common for indigenous and afro-descendant women to migrate to large cities looking for work and other personal and social development opportunities. Likewise, the ILO estimates that there are at least 2 million girls under the age of 14 immersed in this type of work.

Given this context, the Equal value, Equal rights Regional Program, prioritizes the following strategies:

  1. For society and decision makers to be aware of and develop mechanisms of recognition and appreciation regarding domestic workers’ human and labor rights: through campaigns designed to question social perception about domestic work, we seek to highlight the value of domestic work in the care economy that sustains millions of lives.
  2. To strengthen national and regional networks and alliances for public policy advocacy in favor of domestic workers’ human and labor rights. To motivate alliances and to connect at national, regional and global levels with a diversity of actors from civil society, governments, international organizations, social movements and the private sector so that, collectively, and in the form of broad platforms and coalitions, the agenda of domestic workers’ movement in the region is supported.
  3. To increase the technical and political capacities of women domestic workers and their organizations, for internal management, articulation with other actors, advocacy and social control: supporting the domestic workers’ movement and strengthening it at national and regional levels , in such a way that we become an ally for its growth, the amplification of their voices and presence in decision-making spaces, additionally, providing technical and financial resources to facilitate the required conditions to advance their labor and human rights.

To learn more about the program, its partners, structure and our latest developments, we recommend consulting our Annual Impact Report 2017.

Equal Value, Equal Rights is a regional initiative that currently is being implemented in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Regional alliance for Domestic Worker's Rights

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