Damayan Stands with Working Class Women on International Women's Day

DAMAYAN MIGRANTS | March 08, 2018

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day of international solidarity in the struggle of working-class women, and a celebration of the fiercely powerful women who make up the movement. This year, Damayan is celebrating its 16th year of being on the forefront of the women-lead movement for economic, labor and social justice for all. When the group of domestic workers gathered in 2001 to start Damayan Migrant Workers Association, they recognized the vital necessity of having the voices of working-class women lead the domestic worker's rights movement. The foundation for Damayan’s development included providing not only critical services but also grassroots organizing of workers to build and develop social justice leaders.

Focusing on a workforce of housekeepers, nannies, cooks, etc. that is overwhelming Filipino and female, Damayan works to inform workers of their rights and build community. Domestic work can be highly stressful, isolating and toxic, and is exempt from many of the job standards of the Department of Labor. It is setting up a collective center for their social, political, physical and psychological well-being and organizing.

Damayan brings workers together to share common concerns, acquire the skill and ability to advocate for their own rights and welfare, and learn about the social, economic and political roots of forced migration and poverty. Through Damayan women, like, Edith Mendoza and Sherile Pahagas, who experienced exploitation by their former employer, German Diplomat Pitt Koehler, have been able to speak out and fight for justice.

On March 8th, Damayan will be joining the Women’s Day Strike and take to the streets to celebrate and honor our Filipino sisters fighting for their rights and dignity. Damayan celebrates the achievements gained through struggle, and we remain unwaveringly committed to continuing to organize, educate and mobilize for the full and absolute liberation for all.