Co-founders Visit Programs in India
Meeting with Domestic Workers in January 2016: Denise & Caroline traveled to India to meet with leadership and staff from their partner organization – National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), and spend time with some of the domestic workers (girls and women) and child workers that are served through the organization’s various programs.
Mumbai: Denise & Caroline visited the home of a domestic worker and met with fifteen women (ages 35-60) who were leaders of local domestic worker groups. The women spoke proudly about the opportunities that the NDWM movement had given them to improve their education and skills, advocate for their rights as workers, and experience leadership. Most of the women said that they’d been forced to marry and begin working in people’s homes at around age fourteen, but with NDWM’s support they were able to make education a priority for their daughters and sons. They were committed to expanding the movement because of the progress and solidarity that they had experienced, and they were eager to continue their advocacy efforts to bring about greater improvements for themselves and the millions of other domestic workers.
Ranchi: Denise attended an NDWM-led training session for more than 100 domestic workers in Ranchi and then visited with a small group of domestic workers from a tribal community in Ranchi. The women spoke about their daily struggle caused by limited livelihood opportunities, exploitative wages, and the lack of food security and latrines in their community. With training and support, these women are making strides towards improving the situation for themselves and their families. NDWM successfully advocated to have minimum wage passed in Jharkhand and is now educating the workers and the public about fair wages for domestic workers. NDWM is also encouraging the women to explore opportunities to increase their income, and is helping them set up a crèche in their slum community so that mothers with young children can go out and work.
NDWM’s programs currently serve over 250,000 girls and women who are domestic workers across 17 states in India and their advocacy work impacts more than three million women.