In the Caribbean and around the world more people are at home due to the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns and/or the subsequent unemployment, as a result care work responsibility in the home has multiplied. In the absence of measurement, women’s total contribution to social and economic development is not being captured.
Ryancia Henry is originally from Antigua and Barbuda, she moved four months ago to Montecito, California, to take up the position of Director of Housekeeping, managing a team of 60 people, at a hotel that has now closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. With international travel disrupted, and movement restrictions within the United States of America, Ryancia is among millions of workers in the hospitality industry considering what the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on her, her staff, her family and her friends.
The promotion of women in leadership positions, the gender pay gap - which can reach 30% on average -, social responsibility to support women in communities and the role of companies to eliminate violence against women are some of the issues that are beginning to come increasingly into the pattern of discussions of important companies and institutions in the public and private sectors.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the government, due to its commitment to empower women economically has signed the instrument of ratification of ILO Convention C 189 (also known as the Domestic Workers Convention) according to an official statement from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Marking the 2012 observance of International Human Rights Day, Caribbean domestic workers pressed for official recognition of domestic work as valid work alongside other categories of work. A milestone they hope to achieve by the time another international day wends around - International Women’s Day in March 2013 - if not sooner.
The following interview was conducted by UN Women with Ida Le Blanc, General Secretary of the National Union of Domestic Employees of Trinidad and Tobago, with a special acknowledgment to Professor Rhoda Reddock of the University of the West Indies for permission to quote her tribute to Ms Le Blanc’s mother Clotil Walcott.
In the lead up to the concluding debate of the 2011 Global Forum on Migration and Development to be hosted later in the year, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, with the Government of Jamaica, and the International Organization for Migration are organizing the regional conference “Migrant Domestic Workers at the interface of migration and development: Action to expand good practice”.
General Secretary of the National Union of Domestic Employees of Trinidad and Tobago, Ida LeBlanc addressing the United Nations 100th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva earlier this month, stressed that the Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers was very important because it had only come about after decades of struggling to get a rightful place for domestic workers in the world of work.
A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide.