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News > Mexico

Mexico: Roma Star Yalitza Raises Funds for Domestic Worker Rights

  • Yalitza Aparicio at the 91st Academy Awards Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2019

    Yalitza Aparicio at the 91st Academy Awards Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2019 | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2019

Roma's Oscar-nominated Yalitza Aparicio is working with Fondo Semillas to raise money to train domestic workers in Mexico to know their rights.

The first Indigenous women to be nominated for a best actress Oscar award, Yalitza Aparicio, is helping to raise money so that domestic workers in Mexico know their labor rights.

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Aparicio, who made history by being the first Indigenous—she’s of Oaxacan Mixtec and Triqui origin—to be nominated for a best actress Academy award for her role in the movie Roma, is helping Fondo Semillas launch its #CambiaLaHistoria campaign to raise money to  trains domestic workers about their labor rights.

Fondo Semillas, a human rights organization that, among other initiatives, works for women’s labor rights, has called on Aparicio to help them raise 250,000 Mex pesos (just over US$12,900) for the Network of Women Domestic Employees of Guerrero (Spanish acronym, RMEHO) that gives the rights training.

Fondo Semillas Executive Director Laura Garcia says "Roma helped to open spaces for debate and place the (women domestic worker) issue in the media,” but added: “The fact that the issue is being discussed does not mean that there have been advances. We need to promote more campaigns that allow workers to directly benefit.”

The executive director says people should not only know their rights, but that “decent and formal work should be guaranteed."

The domestic workers network, based in Chilpancingo in southwest Mexico, fights for the labor rights of domestic workers and housewives and is currently helping some 650 women workers.

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"We have been collaborating with (RMEHO) for several years, as well as with other organizations in Chiapas, Mexico City and Tijuana, but there is very little visibility on the (domestic worker) issue” in areas outside of Mexico City says Laura.

According to the government there are 2.4 million domestic workers in Mexico, 91 percent of whom are women. Some 87.7 percent of them have no kind of benefit and don’t receive early payment, paid vacations or medical insurance. Over 62 percent of the women are paid so low they cannot afford to buy basic goods.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Mexico is the country in Latin America with the worst rate of labor formalization of paid domestic workers.

The online campaign #CambiaLaHistoria and an additional auction will run March 5 to 8.



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