Hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres separate Lenny Quiroz, Emilsenn Moreno and Cleide Silva Pereira Pinto. They live in Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil respectively and are among the 18 million paid domestic workers in Latin America.* All three are mothers, heads of households and live in poor urban areas. All of them have been working for many years in private households and are responsible for household tasks such as cleaning, cooking and caring for young children. Above all, they share the same commitment – each one of them works to defend the rights of paid domestic workers, including participation in trade unions **. This is an essential role in Latin America, which accounts for 37% of the world’s domestic work*. Three quarters of the women who work in such care service are still part of the informal economy*, synonymous with insecure jobs, no social security, no fixed working hours, low wages and at risk of abuse and harassment.
With the “Women, Dignity and Work” programme, which is a component of the programme “Equal Value, Equal Rights”, the non-governmental organisation, CARE, is helping to improve the situation of domestic workers in Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil by strengthening their representative organisations. Through training, it aims to improve their knowledge of their rights (salary, social security, working conditions, holidays, rest, etc.) and to consolidate their professional skills, including in administrative and financial management. The project also aims to support them in the creation of social enterprises in care services, to improve their working conditions and income.