Domestic work is one of the oldest occupations for women in world history. It has links to slavery and various forms of servitude, including colonialism. It is an unregulated and undervalued activity because, in most of the countries, labour laws are not applicable to the domestic workers.

In a new convention adopted by ILO in June 2011 (c189), domestic work is defined as the “work performed in or for a household or households”. Domestic work is different from the care work performed by members of a household as part of a family responsibility and without creating an employment relationship.

Domestic work includes (in a household or households)

  1. Cleaning
  2. Washing, ironing (clothes, dishes)
  3. Ironing
  4. Cooking (chef)
  5. Security guards (home)
  6. Gardening
  7. Driving (chauffeur)
  8. Childcare/Babysitting
  9. Eldercare
  10. Taking care of ill persons or persons with disabilities
  11. Taking care of animals/pets etc.
  12. Assistance in other household daily chores