Care work is essential both for health and the maintenance of life. The sexual division of labour, which attributes caregiving tasks almost exclusively to women, is still a deeply rooted reality in today's society.  


The incorporation of women into the labour market is very recent and reflects this historical discrimination in the public sphere and in remunerated activities. This discrimination strongly affects labour inequalities between men and women, even when the laws, at least in theory, grant equal status.


One of the most striking examples is found in one of the most invisible labour sectors today, the household and care sector, where there is a marked feminization in our country. This is particularly remarkable if we consider that the general employability rate is still lower in women. Thus, in the Region of Murcia, for example, domestic employment is the only sector in which women currently achieve a higher employability than men, something that is repeated throughout the Spanish territory.


In addition to all this, it should be noted that this is a sector in which there is a strong presence of foreigners (it amounts to more than 40% of all people affiliated to the social security in our country). This fact is influenced precisely because of the fact that domestic employment offers are one of the main causes of women's migratory movements.


With regards to the working conditions in this sector, the precariousness of employment faced by many of its workers stands out, together with the scarce social recognition. This is often perpetuated by the prejudices, stereotypes and gender roles associated with women and the devaluation of household and care work, which are also combined with a legal recognition that continues to be scarce to this day.


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of care work, which, contradictorily, has made those who perform these tasks and other care work that "supposedly" require low qualifications, even more invisible and precarious.


All of the above highlights the great vulnerability to which migrant women workers in the domestic sector are subjected: they are at same time women, migrants and workers in a sector that is still not given the importance it has as a fundamental pillar of society. So much so, that the struggle of this group led to the proclamation in 1988 of the International Day of Domestic Workers, which is celebrated on March 30, with the purpose of raising awareness about the precariousness, low value and discrimination to which this sector is subjected.


The "Program for awareness, prevention and comprehensive protection against gender violence in immigrant women and their descendants. Safe and free women" is a project implemented by Asociación Columbares and is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, the Directorate General for Inclusion and Humanitarian Assistance and the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund during 2021.


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