Brazil: IDWF Executive Committee meeting 2016
- Brazil: IDWF Executive Committee meeting 2016
- The annual ExCo meeting is an opportunity to examine the progress of the IDWF, in particular, how we have advanced towards the goals in the 5-Years Strategic Plan.
- Sep 12, 2016 to Sep 14, 2016 (Universal / UTC0)
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
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2-14 this year. Prior to it, several Exco members and the coordinators went to Salvador, Brazil for the AWID Forum, which they felt was a positive experience to broaden their perspectives and alliances.
Many were excited to hear of how other women groups have been fighting for their rights, such as women with disabilities, LBTI (Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Intersex) women, and that domestic workers of African descent are gaining momentum in organizing in the US and Brazil.
The annual ExCo meeting is an opportunity to examine the progress of the IDWF, in particular, how we have advanced towards the goals in the 5-Years Strategic Plan. The result is positive, with growing membership among many affiliates and gaining of rights for domestic workers in the US, Bangladesh and Tanzania-Zanzibar. Concrete results have been reported about the “My Fair Home” campaign, launched on June 16, the International Domestic Workers Day.
Government ministers and law-makers in 7 countries signed the pledge, over 200 employers who are union members signed in Indonesia, 7 employment companies signed in Brussels and hundreds of employers signed from South Africa, Kenya, to Mexico, Italy, etc. The campaign is growing and the Exco agreed to plan further to make it a bridge between domestic workers and supportive employers.
Finally, the Exco heard the ground work being done to enable the IDWF to organize and support advocacy of migrant domestic workers. IDWF held a capacity building workshop for IDWF affiliates in 5 east African countries where increasing numbers of women are migrating to the Middle East and Gulf countries to work as domestic workers. We also had a consultation workshop in Beirut among migrant domestic workers, trade unions and other civil society organizations on a future plan.
On planning for 2017, apart from the “My Fair Home” campaign, key priorities will domestic workers in the care economy and the ILO process on the violence at work. On organizing, the IDWF will strengthen its reach to include existing domestic workers unions and organizations especially in Europe, Latin America and N. America.
On capacity building, we will put more resources on leadership formation of domestic workers with the production of the IDWF training manuals on planning and building our political power. The other important aspect in building the IDWF is to build its organizational capacities especially to ensure its newly-established Secretariat to support affiliates to grow.
This will require strengthening IDWF’s internal democracy and transparency so that affiliates can engage fully in the decision-making process. Finally, we will begin preparatory work for the second congress of the IDWF in 2018, which will include evaluation of our first 5 years and planning for the future.
The Exco also reviewed the roles and responsibilities of its members. They all agreed that their key role is to effectively represent the IDWF, to reflect issues from the ground, to increase membership, and to fight for domestic workers rights everywhere. To do so, the Secretariat would need to improve the information flow within the organization. It was followed by a session on communication strategy of the IDWF.
The third day of the meeting was devoted to the discussion on gender-based violence at work and the care economy. On the former theme, the Exco developed a list of key issues faced by domestic worker, risk factors, and an action plan for the next one year.
On the latter, the concept of care economy was discussed and the issues of concerns of women of other sectors were shared. The Exco would continue to study this theme and engage in the discussion within the organization and jointly with women of other sectors.