In Bangladesh, acute poverty, dowry, divorce, climate change and family debts or loans drive women and girls to urban areas to seek work and a better life.
Often, women who migrate to Dhaka end up either as regular domestic workers or as part-time help. Most do not have mutually agreed-on working hours with their employers, and their overtime is not tracked or accounted for in their pay. They do not currently have the right to Bangladesh's minimum wage or even decent working conditions.
Women domestic workers represent 17% of the total labour force in Bangladesh. While the labour rights of many other workers in Bangladesh are safeguarded, domestic workers have been systematically denied key labour protections that would guarantee the ability of girls and women to work with dignity and be free from violence in the workplace.
As one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups in Bangladesh, domestic workers are in a very vulnerable position. These women experience various forms of violence and insecurity throughout their lives. It is difficult to challenge this violence and discrimination, as domestic workers typically do not have the education or the support that they would need to advocate for reasonable and fair treatment in the workplace. There is also an overwhelming lack of information on how to negotiate for better working conditions.
4.5 years (2019-2024)
Thanks to our Supporters:
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, and the generous Canadian public.
What are we doing?
Providing women domestic workers with the skills and information they need to find help where and when they need it.
Increasing confidence and empowerment to support women domestic workers in finding and keeping decent work.
Supporting women's rights organizations to advance the legal rights of domestic workers and ensure fair implementation of laws and policies.
What do we hope to achieve?
Oxfam and our partners in Bangladesh aim to empower and organize women domestic workers so that they can claim and defend their rights. We also aim to influence policy makers and stakeholders to begin protecting the rights of women domestic workers and recognize domestic work as a formal profession.