TDWN Pushes for Domestic Workers’ Rights
11 September 2023
The Tanzania Domestic Workers Network (TDWN) has created a platform for amplifying the rights and enhancing decent work for domestic workers in the country.
This was recently revealed by Demetila Faustine, Wote Sawa Project Officer, who explained that the network comprises 12 members, which are four domestic workers’ organizations and eight groups located in five (5) regions of Morogoro, Pwani (Bagamoyo), Mara (Musoma), Dar es Salaam, and Mwanza.
The network was formed in 2022 by Wote Sawa Tanzania through the support from WFT-T, after realization that domestic workers in the country face multiple challenges that accelerate indecent work and the need to have their voices amplified to curb the problems.
Demitila went on to say that the goal of the network was to empower and strengthen women and girls in domestic work for them to play a significant role in advocating the rights of domestic workers and at the same time empowering them to act against violations of their rights.
“Since the inception of the network, we have managed to conduct different activities such as capacity building for members and local government authorities, media engagement, empowering domestic workers and employers, participating in strategic meetings with key stakeholders, and advocating for the ratification of ILO Convention No. 189,” Demetila added.
She further said that through the said activities, the network has achieved some milestones such as facilitating access to services for domestic workers, eg creating a channel for reaching more domestic workers in Tanzania and linking them with existing structures (LGAs) to enhance protection and promotion of domestic workers’ welfare.
In collaboration with other stakeholders, Demetila said they managed to advocate for the increase of minimum wages for domestic workers through commemorations, media sessions, and strategic meetings which led the government to enact the new minimum Wage Order (GN No. 687 of 2022); which increased the minimum wage for domestic workers. The said law came into force from 1st January 2023. She also added that through the project, they managed to promote decent work for domestic workers through signing of employment contracts and awareness-raising.
“Up to now, 159 domestic workers and their employers have entered into written employment contracts; (80 in Bagamoyo, 35 in Morogoro, 30 in Musoma and 14 in Mwanza). Along with signing of the employment contracts, domestic workers are also conducting door-to-door sessions to empower colleagues and their employers with information on domestic workers’ rights,” She said.
Regarding advocacy initiatives, network members in collaboration with other stakeholders conducted and participated in several interventions towards ratification of the ILO Convention. They conducted three meetings in Dodoma with Members of Parliament; Conservation, Hotels, Domestic and Allied Workers Union (CHODAWU); International Labour Organisation; Association of Tanzania Employers , and representatives of domestic workers and other likeminded organizations.
“Up to now, the ratification agenda has been presented to Parliament and it is our hope that upon ratification and domestication of the said convention, domestic workers will be able to enjoy decent work and proper legal protection,” she added.
Regarding strategies being used, Demetila said TDWN applies different means to ensure targeted outcomes are achieved including capacity building, networking, use of social media, fostering coordination, engagement, participation, and collaboration.
The main network’s agenda are: Promoting decent work for domestic workers through salary payments based on the new minimum wage order (GN No. 687 of 2022); ratification of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention No. 189/2011 and Signing of employment contracts. The network has been helpful in doing joint advocacy on ratification of the ILO Convention and payment of the minimum wage for domestic workers.