CSW59: The Voice of Domestic Workers Critical to the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- CSW59: The Voice of Domestic Workers Critical to the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- The International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) represented by Elizabeth Tang, General Secretary, Ernestina Ochoa, Vice-president and Shirley Pryce, Executive Committee is in New York this week to take part in this the post-2015 development agenda process. It is critical that domestic workers' voices are heard and more importantly, that the post-2015 development agenda reflects the commitment of governments to end the situation of poverty for millions of domestic workers.
- Mar 10, 2015 (Universal / UTC0)
- New York, USA
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NEW YORK -
Today the world’s governments gather in New York to review and appraise what has been done to improve gender equality and empower women over the last 20 years. More importantly they will deliberate on how to build on this progress and address gaps in the post-2015 development agenda. This 2 weeks process, ending on March 20, will be paralleled with many civil society’s events, including those on personal care work and domestic work.
In September 1995, governments pledged their commitment to achieve gender equality and empower women at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted to guide governments’ actions in specific areas such as poverty, education and training, health, violence against women, human rights, media, environment and the girl-child. Twenty years later, 70% of the world’s poor are women and women are over-represented in low status, poorly-paid, informal, part-time, insecure and precarious work. Domestic work, paid or unpaid remains marginalized in social and economic policy-making.
Central to achieving gender equality is the recognition and enforcement of human rights, including labour rights for domestic workers. The adoption of ILO Convention 189, the Domestic Workers Convention, and enactment of legal rights reforms in some countries, has enabled millions of domestic workers to gain access to minimum wages, social protections and weekly rest. For the world’s 53 million domestic workers, this is just the beginning.
Despite the advances of rights and protections for domestic workers at the international level, the majority of domestic workers continue to work in extremely vulnerable and exploitative situations and lack any recognized rights. Migrant women, girl-children and ethnic minorities are especially vulnerable, but all domestic workers, due to the nature of their work – isolated and invisible – are suseptible to abuse, including in the USA.
This week the IDWF delegation, has been invited by UN Women and the AFL-CIO to speak at various events to voice the critical concerns of domestic workers and to bring forth their recommendations to governments. The advance of domestic workers’ rights will not only bring decent work to millions of workers but also hasten the closing of gender gaps in many parts of the world.