The global governance of paid domestic work: comparing the impact of ILO convention no. 189 in Ecuador and India


This article looks at the gradual development of a ‘global governance of paid domestic work’ by assessing the impact of the ILO Convention n. 189 on campaigns for domestic workers’ rights in different countries. Here I compare the case of Ecuador and India as two contrasting examples of the ways in which state and non-state organizations have positioned themselves around the issue, revealing how the context-dependent character of domestic workers’ rights can ultimately condition the mobilisation of different actors in each context. On the basis of the theory of ‘strategic fields of action’, I also define the promulgation of C189 as an ‘exogenous change’ that has differing impacts on the relevant social actors in two countries. As I will show, these national differences give shape to a very different modality in campaigns for domestic workers’ rights, resulting in different roles, purposes and scope of action for key social actors.