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CSW60: Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible, says Allison Julien

CSW60: Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible, says Allison Julien

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by IDWFED published Mar 16, 2016 12:00 AM
Contributors: Jill Shenker
On March 16, Allison Julien, a domestic worker, gave public comment at the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment during the Commission on the Status of Women. She was unable to complete her statement, despite being the only worker to provide comment. Here is her complete statement. You can watch the full discussion, including Allison’s statement around minute 50 here.

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On March 16, Allison Julien, a domestic worker, gave public comment at the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment during the Commission on the Status of Women. She was unable to complete her statement, despite being the only worker to provide comment. Here is her complete statement. You can watch the full discussion, including Allison’s statement around minute 50 here.

My name is Allison Julien. I am a third generation domestic worker, following my mother and grandmother, and I have been a nanny here in New York for 20 years, since I migrated from Barbados. I am leader in the National Domestic Workers Alliance and International Domestic Workers Federation, which represents over 500,000 domestic workers around the world.

I am part of global unions delegation of 160 women at the UNCSW60 – representing 70 million women workers around the world – and we call for decent work and to respect our right to organize and collective bargaining.    

Today, 60% of countries deny or restrict workers collective bargaining.  In the US, domestic workers are excluded from the right to form unions.  These violations affect women disproportionally because women make up the majority of the world’s low paid workers. Restrictions on the fundamental right of collective bargaining has a profound impact on women’s ability to move away from poverty and to negotiate for a living wage and access to social protection.

The way both paid and unpaid care work is under valued is a major structural barrier to women's economic. 

Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible. Without someone taking care of our homes, children, and aging parents, people would not be able to go out to do other jobs. Yet despite the huge economic role of domestic work, and the inherent value of raising our children and caring for people, domestic work is one of the lowest paying jobs with the least social protections.  

Unpaid care work lands squarely on the shoulders of women, acting as a barrier to gender equality in the workforce. 

The ITUC recently (March 8) published a major report that shows that public investment in social infrastructure for care work makes sense from a social policy, gender equality and economic perspective. 

Decent work for domestic workers goes hand in hand with the availability and accessibility of quality public care services. You can't have one without the other. We need both in order to achieve women's economic empowerment. "

  • About the High-level panel:

In the context of the 2030 Agenda, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the first-ever High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment. The Panel, commissioned by the UN General Secretary, will make action-oriented recommendations on how to improve economic outcomes for women in the context of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, promote women’s leadership in driving economic growth, and galvanize political will.

The Panel will produce two reports to the UN Secretary-General, drawing on rigorous analysis of the evidence, and views from broad-based consultations, and highlighting good practices. The first report will be presented in September 2016, and the second in March 2017. Please participate in local consultations.

At its March meeting, Panel members endorsed a focus on six major issue areas:

  1. Eliminating legal barriers to female economic empowerment
  2. Addressing the care economy
  3. Reducing gender pay gaps
  4. Expanding opportunities for women who work informally
  5. Promoting financial and digital inclusion for women
  6. Fostering female entrepreneurship and enhancing the productivity of women-owned enterprises

IDWF will produce recommendations for the Panel. If you would like to contribute inputs, please share them with elizabeth@idwfed.org by June 20.

Source: Jill Shenker

Story Type: News

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