The establishment of the first union for the female domestic workers in Jordan

March 3rd 2019

The domestic workers in Jordan established their own union, on March 01st, to defend their financial and moral rights, with the support of the Arab Trade Union Confederation and the Arab Center for the Support of Migrant Workers of the Arab Trade Union Confederation.

An executive office of the Jordan Domestic Workers' Syndicate was elected and an internal system was headed by a unionist Pilipino woman, with the presence of Mr. Mustapha Al-Tlili, the Executive Secretary of the Arab Trade Union Confederation and the international trade union organizations’ representatives, including Mustafa Said of the International Labor Organization, Maryam Abbas of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Nadia Shabana of the Norwegian Workers' Union.

It is noteworthy that there are about 20 thousand female domestic workers of different nationalities in Jordan working without official documents against 50 000 legal workers. “Tamkeen’s” report (1) expressed the concerns about the spread of human trafficking, where the female workers are required to work for long hours, of more than 17 hours of work, with low wages and, in some cases without even any remuneration.

The report pointed out that most of the workers are expected to complete the whole household work in addition to taking care for the children, where some of them earn low wages up to $ 200 per month, while some others are subjected to violence, beatings and are forced work.

Some female workers are not paid for their work, their passports are held and their residencies are not renewed, which make their presence illegal. Tamkeen’s legal aid and human rights report of 2016 (1) revealed that 38% of the female domestic workers were not paid on time and that many of them were tricked by their employers, who promised to pay them, at the of end the contract but didn’t.

  1. « Combating Trafficking in Persons in Jordan. Gaps between Legislation and Implementation », Tamkeen, 2016 :

« Domestic Plight… How Jordanian laws, officials, employers and recruiters fail abused migrant domestic workers », Tamkeen and Human Rights Watch, 2011 :