IZWI

       Domestic Workers Alliance

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Founded in partnership with Dahlak Exchange.

Email: info@izwi.org.za

Phone: 066-060-7698

Registered Charity: NPC 2013/105408/08

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© 2018 by Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance. 

About Izwi

Izwi Domestic Worker Alliance is a network of domestic workers in Johannesburg. We provide:

Advice

Information and advice on employment issues, and assistance with individual cases.

Events

Training programmes, events, and social activities. 

Media

Collecting and sharing the stories and experiences of domestic workers.

Izwi was started by a group of domestic workers who wanted to change the way they are treated by employers, and by society in general.

In order to break down the isolation and vulnerability that domestic workers face, we are building a support network of individual workers, neighbourhood groups, and partner organisations.  A steering committee, elected from amongst the members, oversees Izwi's growth and direction. Read on to see what Izwi has done so far.

Context

Domestic workers number 1.3 million women (and about 50,000 men) in South Africa -- equivalent to agriculture and mining labour combined. However, they are strikingly absent from labour movements and media coverage.

Employed by individuals in private homes, their work arrangements are often precarious and informal, leaving them isolated and vulnerable to abuse.

Exploitation ranges from poor working conditions, illegal hours, and below-minimum wages, through to physical, verbal, sexual and racial abuse — all behind closed doors of private residences, which are generally immune to regulatory oversight.

Globally, there is a growing movement to shed light on abuse and to professionalise the domestic worker industry. In South Africa, Izwi and its partners are standing with domestic workers so that their voices will be heard.

 

Izwi to date

Since its launch in 2018, Izwi has:

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  • Supported over 200 individual cases of mistreated workers.

  • Developed multiple active What’s App groups to field questions and mobilise around issues.

  • Launched 10 neighbourhood groups that provide peer support, trainings, and social activities.

  • Hosted monthly meetings to respond to individual concerns, and to discuss growth and advocacy issues

  • Triggered media coverage on television, radio, and print news in regards to a case of physical assault and broader domestic worker issues. 

  • Supported the development of the SERI domestic workers’ rights guide.

  • Coordinated a civil society campaign against the exclusion of domestic, farm and EPWP workers from the national minimum wage. 

 
 

Partners

Some of our core partners include:

 

Casual Workers Advice Office

Socio-Economic Rights Initiative (SERI-SA)

South African Domestic and Service Allied Workers 

    Union (SADSAWU)

United Domestic Workers of South Africa (UDWOSA)

Sexual Harrassment Education Project

Simunye Women Workers Forum

Goethe Institute, South Africa

Solidarity Centre

Masenze SA

Interested?