Brazil Appeals that Maids Be Given the Benefit of the Law

During the week in which International Women’s Day is commemorated, the Brazilian government will launch a national campaign to apprize domestic work.

"We will dedicate March 8 this year to working women. Both those who take care of the house for free and domestic workers who get paid," said Nilcéa Freire, Minister of the Special Secretariat of Policies for Women.

"Domestic work is an invisible job, but it sustains the production and reproduction of the human race," she observed.

One of the targets of the campaign will be female employers, women who also work outside the home to augment the domestic budget or sustain a family.

Most of the time, the Minister said, "they are women who employ other women," and the idea is to encourage them to sign their employees’ working papers and make monthly social security contributions, among other things.

The purpose of this is to enable these domestic workers, "whose rights are already guaranteed by law, to enjoy these rights in fact," Freire recalled.

The Minister also revealed that the government is examining proposals to help improving working conditions in this segment. "We are working on a measure to foster the process of bringing domestic workers into the formal market," she declared.

On Saturday, March 4, Freire participated in the opening session of the international seminar, "Policies for Women in Agrarian Reform and Rural Development," in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

The seminar, which ended on Sunday, March 5, was a preparatory event for the 2nd International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, which began March 6.

International Women’s Day, which is commemorated on March 8, was created by the United Nations in 1975. The date pays homage to a 19th century tradition of strikes by female garment workers in the United States for better working conditions and the 146 mostly young immigrant women who died when the ninth floor New York City sweatshop in which they worked caught fire in 1911.

Agência Brasil

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