DWAZ is a membership-based organization whose work, activities and programming center on domestic workers. All our efforts directly contribute to our agenda of building a formidable force of domestic workers of world-class standard. We also work to build a reputable image of the domestic workers in Zimbabwe, with the ultimate objective of seeing domestic work sector duly recognized and formalized.
The long existing practice of domestic worker services is crucial but both the sector and the men and women committed to it have been grossly undervalued. Lack of recognition and marginalization of domestic workers and the domestic work sector in the professional arena and public platforms has resulted in the trampling of domestic workers and continuous disregard of their rights. As DWAZ we have taken it upon ourselves to stand with domestic workers and be their mouthpiece, seeking and utilizing any and every opportunity to speak out on issues concern them to build acknowledgement, attention and support for them.
Although advocacy trends have grown positively in favor of historically and constitutionally marginalized, vulnerable and unrecognized groups of informal workers, there is still work to be done. They have not received the documented recognition and support from organizations or the government. Most domestic workers are at the mercy of their employers, some are treated unfairly and unequally treated or dismissed, some work under non-conducive environments, rules and conditions and poorly paid. It is this dynamic and persistent subtle disregard domestic workers rights that direct our advocacy efforts.
On another level, domestic workers themselves may require expert assistance to deal experiences or situations which may take an emotional, mental or psychological toll on them. We are also working to make sure that when thy require it, domestic workers can immediate and unrestricted access to such support.
To promote and advocate protection of domestic workers rights, there is need to improve organization to enhance representational capacity in all public spaces as well as in labour negotiation and expression of voice. This will be achieved through organizing sensitization and information sessions, develop nationwide advocacy campaign, publications on domestic work in Zimbabwe, partnership with research institute, development and advocacy organizations. Also make labour market institutions more inclusive to the domestic workers
These include health insurance, legal protection, funeral cover, life assurance and they have always stayed out of reach of domestic workers even though they need them just as much as every other worker does. The need and cost of accessing health services remains very high for both the working individual and their family or household. Consequently failure to pay for health means even children and other dependent persons suffer lack of access to health, dampening efforts to improve general health of all, especially children. Health insurance for example would make a huge difference. As such there is a gap that requires attention so that eventually social security services can be provided to domestic workers with time.
DWAZ offers practical, on-the-job learning and training services as a way to develop the capacity of domestic professional. Our training curricula fuses theory and practice to address crucial aspects of a domestic worker`s job description such as cookery, baking, cleaning, grooming and etiquette, child minding, security, proper use of household gadgets, in the case of gardeners and drivers this includes vehicles, landscaping equipment, basic knowledge on storage and maintenance of such. Offering an experience which will ensure that all who are trained will be capacitated to match the requirements and expectations of the employer.
Domestic workers also need to have basic knowledge on how to operate these machines and appliances properly. Again DWAZ has makes it a mandate to ensure that our maids get basic education on all technology related issues so that they are able to efficiently effectively deliver in any home environment we have to place them.
To improve access to employment for domestic workers by identifying and spotlighting formal recruitment and placement systems through a recognized and organized channel of a robust network of potential employers, agencies and organisations fostering the interests of the domestic worker and to serve as a monitoring system in the industry.
To contribute to the representation of domestic workers in the labour sector whilst providing a platform for Zimbabwean domestic workers to rally together, dialogue and organize their efforts towards making a meaningful contribution to national policy and to exchange ideas on best practices in the domestic workers’ industry.