Sonia George


National Vice President of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)

Sonia George is the National Vice President of SEWA, a national union of informal workers with 2.5million membership. She comes from a long background of organizing, which started with the student movement, as it inspired her to join the struggle of the marginalized communities. Ever since, she has been in a continuous search for spaces where she can service women movements, supporting the struggle of those who are in the lower strata of society, never in a one-sided empowerment approach. Sonia George obtained her Ph.D in International Relations which provided her with a learning process to work with more clarity and vision in SEWA and beyond. The combination of her political, practical, and theoretical experience proved to pay off as Sonia George has made consistent contributions to international decision-making spaces that moved governments, employers, and allies to act in favor of the workers of informal economy.

“Domestic workers form one of our important constituents with more than 1,000,000 memberships. I am the key responsible person for coordinating the domestic workers trade committee and other activities with regard to domestic workers. We have formed a national platform of domestic workers constituting unions and membership-based organizations of domestic workers to advocate for comprehensive national legislation for domestic workers and ratifying C 189. SEWA is playing an active role in the platform and has initiated many campaigns to bring this law into the mainstream discussions of the parliament and other decision-making bodies. We were able to campaign for domestic workers rights in different states of India and now 17 states have minimum wages for domestic workers and 10 states have welfare boards where domestic workers are included. The state of Kerala is going to announce a law for domestic workers soon. We have been actively campaigning for the law for a long time. I have been involved in the work for the last 23 years.”