Delegation is set to meet with members of Congress on April 24
during Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Washington, DC -- As public and political attention remains focused on sexual violence in the wake on-going #MeToo disclosures, more than 100 domestic workers and farmworker women are set to meet with members of Congress on April 24 during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to demand policies that keep all women safe in the workplace, no exclusions, no loopholes.
The Unstoppable Day of Action is led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Farmworker Women's Alliance), organizations whose work has been recognized on the red carpet during the Golden Globes.
“While many of us have said #MeToo, we know that not all working women are protected from sexual violence,” said Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, who recently wrote about this issue in InStyle Magazine. “There are millions of farmworker women, nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers who make it possible for us to put food on the table and go to work knowing that our homes and families are in good hands. It’s some of the most important, life-sustaining work in the nation. Yet, these women have faced systematic exclusion from protections at work. Today they are leading the charge to ensure all women - without exception - are protected from sexual harassment, closing every loophole.”
Currently, Title VII, the federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits sexual harassment, only covers workers employed in workplaces with 15 of more workers. This de facto excludes many farmworkers and domestic workers, most of whom are immigrant women and women of color, who are already vulnerable to abuse on the job. Working in isolated environments with limited or no access to a typical HR department, sexual harassment is rampant across both industries. This reality is part of a long history of racism and sexism that was codified in the Jim Crow Era south and extended to all national and state labor laws.
“From Rosa Parks to Anita Hill, farmworkers and domestic workers come from a long line of freedom fighters, who have fought to be covered by laws that most people take for granted,” said Mónica Ramírez, President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance). “Still today, domestic workers and farmworkers are among the workers with the fewest labor protections, which has contributed to the sexual harassment and exploitation against them. We will not rest until all women can live and work under safe conditions and with dignity-- no matter where they work or what they do. Women organizing together are an unstoppable force.”
The demands of the April 24th delegation are clear:
- Close legal loopholes so that workplace harassment and abuse is deemed unlawful in every workplace – no exceptions.
- Make it simple and safe for workers to report sexual harassment and file complaints.
- Provide funding for culturally and linguistically appropriate resources for domestic workers and farmworkers who make complaints.
- Promote policy reform to ensure that farmworkers and domestic workers are covered by anti-sexual harassment and retaliation laws.
For more information on the day’s events, visit http://unstoppable.domesticworkers.org/
About National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for the respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers. NDWA has won legislation protecting domestic workers’ rights in seven states including New York, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois, and Nevada. The Alliance is powered by over 60 affiliate organizations — plus local chapters in Atlanta, Durham, and New York City — of over 20,000 nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly and people with disabilities in 37 cities and 18 states. For information, visit https://www.domesticworkers.org/
About Alianza de Campesinas (National Farmworkers Women's Alliance)
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Farmworker Women’s Alliance) is the first national farmworker women’s organization in the U.S. created by current and former farmworker women, along with women who hail from farmworker families. Alianza de Campesinas’ is comprised of 18 member organizations around the United States and in Mexico. The organization was founded in 2011 to promote the interests and priorities of the 700,000 farmworker women who pick, plant, and pack agricultural products across the U.S. and to ensure that farmworker women have a place at power tables where decisions are made that impact their lives and the lives of their families. Alianza’s policy priority areas include general labor protections, violence against women and girls, pesticides and immigration. For more information, visit www.campesinasunite.org