Overlooked and undervalued Sector: Exploring the Experience of Female Domestic Workers in Burayu and Sebeta Towns, Oromia, Ethiopia
Domestic workers provide crucial household and care services to many families and contribute to the economic development of the country. They relieve their employers of countless responsibilities and help families to manage their day-to-day stresses and demands on their time. The aim of this research was to explore the lived experiences of domestic workers in Burayu and Sebeta towns. The study employed a qualitative research approach using a descriptive research design. Eight domestic workers were selected by using snowball sampling. Domestic workers reported that lack of family support and early marriage are the major factors that force them to engage in live-in domestic work. The nature of the agreement made between domestic workers and employers was through informal and formal agreements. Supporting their family member and saving money from what they earn to meet their needs considered as the benefits of working in private home as domestic worker. Despite its benefits, working in their employer’s home has a major impact on workers’ personal autonomy, mobility and decisions about their future. They also subjected to excessive work load without any additional payment which may worsen their life. To overcome the overwhelming and demanding nature of work domestic workers used seeking social support and crying as coping strategies. It was recommended that domestic workers need legal protection just as any other employees. They must enjoy their fundamental rights to form and join a trade union for collective bargain with their employers.
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