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Domestic Workers of the World Unite!

Domestic Workers of the World Unite!
A Global Movement for Dignity and Human Rights

First Edition
  • Jennifer N. Fish - Professor and Chair of Women’s Studies, Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA.

February 2018 | 308 pages | SAGE Vistaar

Domestic workers exist on the margins of the world labor market. Maids, nannies, and other care workers are most often ‘off the books,’ working for long hours and low wages. They are not offered legal protections or benefits such as union membership and retirement plans. Most women who perform these jobs are migrants, often dependent upon their employers for boarding as well as immigration status. 

Jennifer Fish presents the compelling stories of the pioneering women who mobilized transnationally, negotiated and successfully received the first-ever granting of international standards for care work protections by the United Nations. This landmark victory not only legitimizes these household laborers’ demands, but also signals the need to consider human rights as a central component of workers’ rights. The book chronicles how a group with few resources could organize and act within the world’s most powerful structures and give voice to the plight of informal workers.

“Look Deep in Your Hearts”: Making a Global Domestic Workers’ Movement
“Dignity Overdue”: Tracing a Movement
Getting “on the Map”: Global Policy as an Activist Stage
“First to Work; Last to Sleep”: Central Policy Debates
“My Mother Was a Kitchen Girl”: Mobilizing Strategies Among Domestic Workers
“Put Yourself in Her Shoes”: NGO, Union, and Feminist Allies
“A Little Bit of Liberation”: Moving Beyond Rights

Through the stories of people like Stephens, Myrtle Witboot, Aida Moreno,Sonu Danuwar Chaudhary among others, Fish traces how the issues came to feature in the International Labour Organization and how Convention 189 was passed….Author also analyzed the takeover of this movement by NGOs who began to use the issues of rights for domestic workers in accordance with their own agenda….

THE HINDU, 25 March 2018

Jennifer Natalie Fish

Jennifer N. Fish is a sociologist and Professor and Chair of Women’s Studies at Old Dominion University. She has worked with domestic labor movements for over fifteen years, as a researcher, ally, and policy activist. Her publications include Domestic Democracy: At Home in South Africa and Women’s Activism in South Africa: Working Across Divides. More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352805563