This past weekend Domestic Workers United organized the first National Domestic Workers Congress, where they facilitated workshops centered on achieving rights for domestic workers, many who are abused by their employers physically, financially, and psychologically. Apart from being abused, many domestic workers are taken advantage of by false advertisements in their countries of origin stating that they would be compensated great amounts of money, when the reality is that there is hardly any compensation at all. The New York Times article states that “nearly all of them were immigrants, from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and India”, which illustrates the continued abuse and neglect of immigrant women of color in the United States.
About 100 women attended the conference to devise the New York State Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which is the first of its kind and would make history if it is passed. Many other organizations joined in the efforts to create this Bill of Rights this past weekend, including, Casa de Maryland who recommended and sent women to the conference to start to unite and organize against the abuses occurring at the workplace.
The conference is a step in the right direction towards bringing awareness to the abuses and disparities that immigrant women face on a daily basis. It is also empowering to the women who are domestic workers to feel like they too have rights and can attain the tools to fight for them accordingly. In order to face the adversities that many immigrant women face they must be equipped with the right information and tools to go about becoming civically engaged in their communities to fight against the injustices committed against them.
Contributed by Stephanie Alvarado, Policy and Research Summer Intern