Mama Cash grantee Asociación de Trabajadoras del Hogar, a Domicilio y de Maquila, Guatemala reflects on the ingredients for impact
Mama Cash’s grantee partners are doing amazing work for women, girls, and trans people in their communities and around the world. In an eleven part series, we will share some of these inspiring stories of change. This is the story of Asociación de Trabajadoras del Hogar, a Domicilio y de Maquila, Guatemala.
Founded in 2007, the Guatemalan Asociación de Trabajadoras del Hogar, a Domicilio y de Maquila (Association of Domestic, Home Based and Maquila Female Workers, ATRAHDOM) has become a leader in the struggle for Guatemalan women workers’ rights in the domestic work, garment, agricultural, and home-based industry sectors.
More than 60% of women employed in Guatemala are home-based workers. When ATRAHDOM began its activities, domestic workers had no minimum wage or social benefits. The only legal regulation protecting them was a maximum 14 hour work day. In practice, their working days averaged 18 hours. In the factories, where 60 to 80% of all workers are women, the response to women who tried to organise for better working conditions was violent, sometimes fatally so. There was no unified voice speaking up for women workers’ rights. The feminist movement did not consider labour rights a priority issue and the male-dominated unions did not take up the issues women workers faced in their industries.