Women’s Development Department Punjab, as part of its Women’s Empowerment Package, in collaboration with ILO, APWA and COTHM aimed to train 1000 domestic workers, place them in decent work conditions and begin drafting a legislative framework for domestic workers according to the ILO convention 189 on domestic work. Training domestic workers will provide employment opportunities to women who want to or are already working as domestic workers by providing them certified skills, job placement in line with ILO convention 189 guidelines (minimum wage, grievance redressal system etc), strengthen their position by making them aware of their rights, and provide a model on which the WDD Punjab has drafted legislation for domestic workers. These skilled domestic workers will also help the families that employ them be able to join the labour force themselves, as they will be able to pass on their own household responsibilities to trained, reliable domestic workers. Besides the skills development programme, the project will also focus on legislative side to help combat several other issues, domestic workers come across, including assuring minimum wage, introduction of written contract between the domestic worker and the employer which should clearly outline the type of tasks/responsibilities; work timing; wages; time of payment; leave and other benefits; deductions and a notice period, regulating and registering placement service providers and establishing a grievance redressal system. Findings from this pilot project will be used by the Women’s Development Department Punjab to draft legislation for domestic workers in line with the ILO Convention 2011, No. 189 regarding domestic workers as it provides a comprehensive set of articles and sections dealing with various aspects of domestic work. The major courses offered by APWA were;Brochures
Khurshid Bibi, earning her living from domestic work for the last thirty years, she has experienced many employers during her entire life and different behaviours. She struggled hard and raised her children on her own, while doing domestic work at other people’s home, but never gave up, no matter how hard the circumstances were.
Discussing her experience, Khurshid Bibi said, “Perhaps, the female domestic workers are doing double shift; one at the workplace and the other at home, however, they still get less recognition, let alone appreciation.”
Kiran Alvi, a lone supporter of her family wanted to raise her income level, so that she could meet her family needs. She did multiple works for decent living, but due to improper working conditions and low wages she had to leave various jobs. She was unemployed and worried regarding job, when she came to know about ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers’ training programme. She tried her luck and got enrolled in the programme where she learned variety of housekeeping techniques and culinary skills.
“My morale was very low when I joined the course; however with each passing day cooking classes gained my attention and I developed interest in culinary. With practical training of cooking and housekeeping, I also learned different techniques of home based business, and after course I applied one of them, and now running my own small business, which I started with help of my few friends and family.”
Madiha Shahid, a young lady who wanted to support her family came to All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) seeking job, and that is how she learned about the ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers’ (DW4DW) training programme. She realized that she did not have sufficient skills or training for a reasonable job. Madiha was overwhelmed to see the environment and course outline of DW4DW programme at APWA, and decided to get enrolled in the course, so she can seek employment on the basis of that course certification.
“Being the elder daughter of the house, it became my responsibility to support the family, after my father died. Before DW4DW training, it was really tough for me to get a reasonable job and earn decent living, as our society is not supportive for a young lady. However, now I do not need any financial aid from anyone, as I am working with dignity and respect.”