No Fixed Wages, Working Hours: Story Of The Women We Ignore The Most

Posted by Sourodipto Sanyal in #FutureOfWork, Video
May 19, 2017
ILO logoEditor’s Note:With #FutureOfWork, the International Labour Organization India and Youth Ki Awaaz are coming together to explore the spectrum of issues that affect young people's careers and work lives. Join the conversation! 

In India, poverty is a curse. And, if you’re a woman, poverty becomes even harder to swallow. It’s not just the pressure of earning to keep you and your family going. Many domestic workers, like Manju, also have to wake up at 4 am to manage the house and get their children ready for school.

Labour laws in independent India are forgotten while employing women domestic workers. They’re paid just the bare minimum required for survival. And asking for a raise becomes a joke for an employer, who knows that in a poor country like India, someone will always be willing to work for less money. Consequently, domestic workers are afraid to ask for even minimal raises.

It’s not just class and gender, caste infiltrates like a poisonous virus, refusing to let go and laughing at the efforts of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Rarely are domestic workers allowed to use the toilets in their employers’ homes. And they’re served food and beverages in separate utensils. In all, the conditions of work for domestic workers in India are undignified, unfair and absolutely unsatisfactory, allowing no room for their economic or social growth.

And this video gives voice to the women domestic workers who deserve way better luck in life, highlighting how it’s not just them who suffer, but their kids too. This is the present, but do we want this to be the #FutureOfWork?