The Bureau of Gender Affairs in partnership with the Jamaica Household Workers’ Union recognised thirty-three domestic workers as Invisible Giants on Saturday evening at the Altamount Court Hotel.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has aided the Jamaica Household Workers’ Union since it’s inception, and the support continues with the second annual Invisible Giants Awards. The theme for this staging was “Uniting and Celebrating Domestic Workers!” in commemoration of International Domestic Workers’ Day 2019.
Shirley Pryce, President of the Jamaica Household Workers’ (JHW) Union, first received an Invisible Giant Award in Senegal, for her outstanding contribution to social welfare across the world. This sparked the idea in Pryce to bring the award to Jamaica because she saw that there were many persons who are deserving of the title. She feels that domestic workers are to be appreciated for the many roles they play in the lives of others.
The honourees were appreciated for the outstanding work ethic, selflessness, and many years of service, each recipient has been working for their employer for over twenty years ranging to over forty years.
The keynote speaker, Dr Leith Dunn, applauded the work of the JHW Union regionally and internationally. The organisation now consists of thirteen chapters and five thousand nine hundred (5,900) members across Jamaica. Dr Dunn also lauded the hard work and effort of all the domestic workers present.
The Honourable Olivia Grange recounted to the audience about June 16, 2011, the adoption of the ILO Convention No.189. This signifies the recognition of domestic workers as legal employees. “The government stands in absolute agreement with the commemoration of domestic workers day. The ratification of the domestic workers’ convention is kept. Their rights are protected,” says Grange.
Minister Grange continued by saying, “They are the cord that keeps many Jamaican families together, or they turn out to be the remedy when some are falling apart, thus holding it together. They must be commended for the important role that they play.”
Minister Grange made closing remarks of ensuring the continued support of the Bureau of Gender Affairs.