Intersectional politics on domestic workers’ rights. The cases of Ecuador and Colombia

PUBLICATIONS

In Elizabeth Evans and  Eléonore Lépinard (2020), Intersectionality in Feminist and Queer Movements. Confronting Privileges.

The chapter looks at domestic workers’ movements as a telling case of collective action developed by multiply marginalized social groups, in particular migrant, low-class, racialized, and rural women employed in the sector. The present study focuses on Ecuador and Colombia, exploring the ways in which organisations in both contexts used intersectionality differently, in various aspects of their mobilization process, in the period between 2010-2018. Interestingly activists in Ecuador appear to develop a complex discourse that articulates the role that gender and class, in addition to race, play in the inequalities that weight on domestic workers, and yet when they lobby their government to ratify the ILO “Convention No. 189 on decent work for domestic workers”, they privilege alliances based on class and the promotion of labor rights. On the contrary, in Colombia, activists are able to use their intersectional identities, as afro-colombian women domestic workers, to promote a discourse in the public sphere in which gender, race and class are always present, and they do so by originally articulating a new frame rooted in a feminist analysis of the “care economy”.