Nilinde Dada Wa Kazi Campaign
This is a campaign that started in June 2018 working under Huduma Smart social enterprise to provide awareness about domestic work labor laws and rights to both domestic workers and employers. The awareness campaign on the labor laws and rights in domestic work is a solution to the prevailing domestic work violence as we believe that without the victims being aware of what’s happening to them, we won’t be able to fight against the violations of the laws and rights that are already in place. Through our quarterly DadaSmart Bootcamps, we bring together and educate domestic workers about the labor laws and rights in their sector and also raise awareness on the gender-based violence that they are vulnerable to.
The Founder of Huduma Smart Balbina Gulam, who is also the lead project manager of #NilindeDadaWaKazi came up with the campaign after observing the problems happening in the domestic work sector and then decided to research to validate the problems. The research led her into realizing that domestic workers play big roles in our families and homes but what do they get in return? Underpayment and unpaid salaries, gender-based violence, and a nonconductive working environment, she wanted to change the situation.
An estimated 67 million people globally are employed as domestic workers, of which 80% are women. Many of them are migrants, uneducated, and belong to disadvantaged communities. In Tanzania, there’s a high incidence of unpaid and underpayment of salaries in domestic work. According to ILO 2015, 56% of domestic workers in the country remain unpaid and 65% of the vast reported incidences in the sector are sexual harassment by male employers, physical abuse by female employers, verbal abuse, restrictive movement, and lack of negotiation.
Challenges resulting from the lack of legal and social protection: Remuneration for domestic workers tends to be among the lowest in the labor market, driven in large part by the lack of recognition of domestic work as real work. In the absence of formal contracts, many workers face excessively long hours of work without guaranteed days off and healthcare. They are often victims of wage theft and other forms of economic exploitation without any recourse. Physical, emotional, and/ or sexual violence, harassment, and abuse are common. Unique challenges faced by domestic workers: Serious restrictions on domestic workers’ freedom. Constraints on mobility and isolation from their families often make them easy prey for violence and abuse and limit their ability to file complaints and organize for the protection of their rights. Pregnancy can result in job termination and loss of livelihood.
COVID-19 Vs Domestic Work Violence
How has their situation been worsened by COVID–19?
How has their situation been worsened by COVID–19? Domestic workers have faced heightened risks of exposure to the virus due to the nature of their work in confined spaces and proximity to their employers. Their workload has increased and they have been placed in the difficult situation of having to preserve their livelihoods while risking their health without adequate means to protect themselves. Also, the lockdown has made the domestic workers more vulnerable to domestic work acts of violence as they get to spend more time with their workplace’s family members.