By Samuel A. Marandu – (MA. Applied Economics-UDSM, BA. Economics- UoN),Dar es Salaam
Considering the short space of formal employment in the globe, the number of domestic workers has mounted high.
For the past many years now, there has been a huge number of young ladies locally known as ‘dada wa kazi’ in both urban and semi urban spaces, countrywide. This could have been triggered by the activities or routines performed by their employers purposely to make ends meet.
It’s unfortunate that this kind of labor until recently has remained undervalued, not protected, not regulated and in most cases invisible in the economy. This situation continues to indefinitely linger despite the paramount and active roles that domestic workers play in fostering activities of households.
Moreover, their supportive role whilst ensuring that household routines and activities are properly monitored and duties attended to efficiently and to the best of the employer expectation.
One would probably calculate the unavailability of taxing mechanisms and strategies by the government to this workforce as the prime reason why they are rendered insignificant. In some cases the disadvantaged and miserable poverty background that these domestic workers emanate from and in consideration of the fact that majority join this pool while still young (child laborers) is posited to be among the reasons why this workforce doesn’t resonate in people’s minds. In addition many do not have a clear job description.
Besides, the numerous numbers of young uneducated young women and men (house girls and house boys) in developing nations that ultimately plunge into this domestic work pool remains an alarming evidence that enhancement, protection and valuation of domestic labor should be underscored.
In ensuring that the domestic workforce occupies and contributes a significant proportion of the Country’s earnings, there is dire need to embark on instigating and intensifying deliberate efforts to innovatively track its relevance and value in the domestic economy. This should be parallel with ensuring that the skills and efforts employed in their respective households have a positive reverberating effect on the Country’s economy.
So, how can we, as a nation, value this emerging domestic workforce?
For one, the time spent by household owners in other income generating activities.Domestic workers carry out activities that would have otherwise been done by the residence owners/home owners had they been full time present at their residences.
Nevertheless, due to exigencies of expanding the family income base, then household owners are left with no option but to employ house helps who would act as a substitute in conducting home chores while they utilize their time in other income generating activities. It is in light of this that time is considered one of the pivotal components of valuing a domestic worker.
The second measure is the application of external income earned by household owners who have delegated their household chores to domestic workers. This entails income that is earned by household owners from income generating activities outside their residences, while having left a domestic worker to do the household duties. Had it not been for the presence of a house-help, then it would be a daunting task for owners of households to engage and get paid in activities outside their houses.
The amount of wealth or property entrusted by household owners to the custody of domestic workers while owners engage with income generating activities outside their households/residence would be termed as plan three. This is a very remarkable measure on the evaluability of a domestic worker. Household owners entrust numerous Millions and Billions of property and wealth to house-helps while they are away for other ventures. Hence it is absolutely pragmatic to consider the value of property left under custody of house boys and girls while bearing in mind that the same translates as a measure of their value.
Additionally, the proportion of domestic workers’ families, especially those that are fully dependent on the worker for livelihood. This requires domestic workers’ children, spouses, parents and close relatives who depend on these workers to acquire basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing.
To mention but a few, the amount of information that arises with regard to household issues while the household owners are away for other pivotal activities. Information is a paramount component that determines the speed and rate at which a household develops economically and socially.
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