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The invisible ones

Fernanda Mira*

Coronacrisis is threatening 75% of domestic workers worldwide to lose their jobs. The number is equivalent to 55 million people. These data were released yesterday by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and reflect the social dimension of the times we are going through.

Detailing the report, it is revealed to us that the vast majority, about 37 million, are women and predominantly migrants, who depend on wages to support families in the countries or regions of origin.

The Asia-Pacific region is the most affected with 76% of domestic workers being at risk, followed by the Americas with 74%, Africa with 72% and Europe with 45%.

In this terrible year of 2020 – we can already classify it – we are all getting poorer.

Seven out of ten of these workers are on the so-called “informal” register. They have no social protection or rights of any kind. They are at the mercy of a more or less conscientious boss.

These domestic workers – pieces placed at the base of this pyramid – live their condition on the basis of the word invisibility. We don’t notice them, but they are there to make a difference in the lives of others. Cleaning her houses, taking care of her children, having meals on time, having fresh clothes when leaving home …

The job market of the “domestic” depends on the financial condition of others. In this terrible year of 2020 – we can already classify it – we are all getting poorer. In an almost pyramid game, the failure of a piece tells us to start all over again. For those starting over it is nothing new, nor will it be an obstacle to stop.

May the accounts of the new beginning lead us to a path of transparency and equality. May the ILO report tell us next year that the employers who had the breath to recover, also had the courage and the discernment to look and see the “invisible”.

* Editor of the Portuguese version of Plataforma

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