Dr. (Sr.) Jeanne Devos

Honorary Board Member and Founder of the National Domestic Workers Movement (India)

Jeanne, a missionary from Belgium, came to India to work in the missions in 1965. After living in India for a few years, Jeanne was drawn to the situation of domestic workers, and began to help the women from the poorest segments of the population who slaved as domestic servants, with illegally low wages, and no means to stand up for their rights. Jeanne gained a new sense of urgency “after meeting the 13-year-old girl Sangeeta who was raped, pregnant and had aborted – without understanding what had happened to her.” In 1985, she founded the Domestic Workers National Movement (NDWM), based in Mumbai, to organize and advocate for women and girls. Under her leadership, NDWM has grown into India’s foremost organization for the support, education, and empowerment of India’s domestic workers. Through Jeanne’s collaboration with individuals and organizations across various sectors, as well as her fundraising work in her home country, Belgium, NDWM has been able to sustain and grow the life-saving work that they do. In 2005, Jeanne was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2009, she received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown by King Albert. In 2012, she was awarded the Ramkrishna Bajaj Memorial Global Award – India’s most prestigious award for human rights – from the Priyadarshini Global Academy.

Dr. (Sr.) Jeanne Devos
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