Domestic work is work, Domestic Workers are Workers and Domestic Work is Not Slavery.
New Delhi, 17 June: Domestic Workers (DW) from the National Capital Region (NCR)-Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Delhi thronged the DCC Hall at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Campus to celebrate the first anniversary of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention C189 that talks about “Decent Work for Domestic Workers”.
Marking the significance of the day, Miss Sadhya Hamdani, Gender Specialist, ILO, explained that on 16 June, 2011, the International Labour Organisation for the first time adopted Convention 189 (C189) that talks about “Decent Work for Domestic Workers”. The C189 at the 100th International Labour Conference, Geneva recognizes the need for a reinvention of the way our societies view domestic work thereby giving due importance to the long struggle for women’s rights. It is a step towards remedying long-standing stereotype and unequal standards of employment in the pretext of feminization of this workforce.
The programme organised by the Domestic Workers Forum (Chetanalaya), brought together nearly 1000 DWs for a day long program. Adivasi Jeevan Vikas Sanstha, (AJVS) a unit run by Jesuits in Social Action (JESA) from Indian Social Institute (ISI), New Delhi also participated on the occasion.
Taking an opportunity to speak during this event, Ms. Laxmi Singh, an animator of AJVS encouraged all DWs present to take up distance learning to qualify higher education for jobs other than domestic jobs.
Dr. Charu Walikhanna expressed sadness for the absence of law for DWs and suggested DWF to organise a workshop for domestic workers with delegates from the labour department and from Concern for Working Children (CWC).
All the distinguished guests too expressed their views on the dignity and rights of the domestic workers. Some of the domestic workers shared their life-experiences followed by a brief cultural programme.
Guests present during the program were Archbishop Rev. Vincent Concessao, Dr. Charu Walikhanna (Member of National Commission for Women), Miss Sadhya Hamdani (Gender Specialist, ILO), Fr. Susai Sabastian, Director of Chetnalaya, Mr. Marianus Baa (Dy.GM, (HR) GAIL), Mr.Subash Bhatnagar (Director of Nirmala Niketan), Mr Mukti PrakashTirkey (Editor of Dalit Adivasi Dunia Newspaper), Sr. Sophia, and Miss Shimray (Gender Desk, Caritas India).
Mr. Kamal Chand, Project Manager, Domestic Worker Forum, in his concluding message said that the demands of the domestic workers are: to pass the National Legislation for the domestic workers; to ratify C 189; and to include the domestic work in 6th schedule of Minimum wage.
Courtesy: DWF Documentation Team.
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