A Worldwide Movement for Domestic Workers
By Marina Durano
Despite the profession’s growing ranks, millions of domestic workers—80 percent of whom are women—remain impoverished and exploited. In many countries, in fact, legal norms don’t provide domestic workers with the same rights and protections that other workers already enjoy.
Thankfully, more domestic workers than ever—including people like Phobsuk “Dang” Gasing, a Thai domestic worker and union leader in Hong Kong, who is featured in this video—are coming together and forming unions.
It’s a global movement, too: Gasing’s union is part of the International Domestic Workers Federation, a collective which boasts more than 500,000 members in 54 countries. The federation has helped ratify international labor standards for domestic workers in more than 28 countries.
More work remains to be done, of course. But as Gasing’s story—and the stories of countless domestic workers throughout the world—can attest, this rising movement is a global force that cannot be dismissed.
The International Domestic Workers Federation is a grantee of the Open Society Foundations.