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In Tanzania, domestic workers in Tanzania reminded their government to ratify C189. Oct 2020

October 9, 2020

“CHODAWU- Domestic Workers Unite! Yes We Can! Government ratify ILO C189.”



OCTOBER 9, 2020

Speech by Asante Sana

“CHODAWU- Domestic Workers Unite! Yes We Can! Government ratify ILO C189.”

We domestic workers gathered here today, on the 9th of October 2020, are workers and branch leaders under the union CHODAWU. We are from five provinces namely Temeke, Ilala, Dodoma, Morogoro and Pwani.

During the five days Training of Trainers (ToT) we learned about several issues which include the International Labor Organization Convention 189 (ILO C189) on Decent Work for domestic workers, as well as our labor laws and the real situation at our workplaces. We learned how to negotiate for our rights with employers through negotiation skills, how to campaign for the ratification of C189. We also learned leadership skills and roles of branch leaders. In addition to that, in our capacity as trainers, we were equipped with facilitation methodology such as group work, questions and answers, role play, and songs.

ILO C189 was adopted on the 16thJune 2011 at the ILO conference whereby our Government, Employers and workers representatives participated and voted for the Convention. It has been nine years since it was adopted, and Tanzania still has not ratified it.

Domestic work is one of the important sectors in the world of work, and it contributes to the economy of the country, although its contribution in most cases is not visible. Domestic workers are workers like any other workers. They are employed by employers from formal employment like the government and the private sectors, as well as from the informal sector. All employers cannot be effective in their work without us being in their homes which constitute our workplace. We are the managers who manage all the activities when they are at their workplace, nurses who take care of the sick and the elderly, the chefs who cook their food for the whole family and visitors, gardeners who make the environment look clean and take care of the livestock such as cows, goats and poultry farms just to mention a few.

However, we are workers who are less recognized, not respected as workers by employers, and the community at large. We are abused, exploited and discriminated. Employers think that we have no right as workers, and therefore they are not ready to negotiate with us on terms and conditions of work, which include maternity leave, annual leave, rest period, rest hours and salary, health and safety issues and therefore they do what they like. They terminate us when they like, such as they did during the COVID-19 when most of us were terminated from work, got half salaries, and were discriminated against. Indeed, we experienced very bad treatment.

We domestic workers appreciate very much the Government of Tanzania for the effort done to make sure that we are protected by including us in the wage board and also ratification of Convention 182 of the Worse forms of Child labour which has reduced a number of working girl children, to enable them to go to school, as they were exploited a lot and had no bargaining power like us. Thanks.

Our President, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli is keen for the poor citizens and their rights so that they enjoy and have decent life. The domestic work sector is one of the sectors which give employment opportunities to a large group of women especially the young ones. Therefore,

  • (i) We ask our President John Pombe Magufuli to Ratify C 189 on Decent Work for domestic workers so that it is domesticated in the labor law and hence domestic workers have decent work and decent life with their families.
  • (ii) We ask our President to set aside time to meet with domestic workers and listen to us as we are also citizens and voters.

“CHODAWU- Domestic Workers Unite! Yes We Can! Government ratify ILO C189.”