By Martha Ramos
MEXICO CITY — In Mexico, one million 816,000 women work as housekeepers. I’ don’t think there are any women stronger than them.
Usually, they live in small villages where there is no water or even telephone service, and they always come to big cities searching for a better way of life.
They accept jobs in homes where they are complete strangers and have to work with things they don’t know anything about, like microwave ovens, washing mashines, and computers.
Also, they have to deal with people who are completly different from them. People who have different lifestyles, ways of thinking, even religion, maybe. It’s hard to tell because they adapt so quickly it is almost hard to explain.
Suddenly, these strangers, are part of the family. They know all the dirty secrets, raise the kids, become mom’s confidant and take care of dad. They know what everyone likes to eat, recognize family members, deal with the landlord or the mailman and go to the market to buy the food and necessities.
Sometimes they stay for years, with their children, or maybe stay forever.
But these women never have the benefit of social security, health benefits, or even the basic rights of every worker. There are as many housekeepers in Mexico as there are people altogether working in offices or as teachers and vendors on the streets.
But when it comes to laws, they are invisible.
They suffer the worst discrimination as a social group and are regular victims of domestic violence, abuse and somtimes rape.
When something is missing at home, everybody suspects their housekeeper. When something gets broken, or missplaced, they yell at the housekeeper.
Mexico has to change that.
There shoud be laws that understand the kind of work they are doing and its value to not only families, but to society.
It’s time to create laws that can guarantee women in their positions a job of dignity and respect and the opportunity to have a good life — the kind they are entrusted to create for their employers!
Learn more about Martha:
I’m Martha Ramos, born 43 years ago, a journalist during the last 24 years and a mother since 1998.
I believe in the power of friendship, and the wisdom of children. I defend women as a basic element in every society, every group, every family.
I recognize journalism as the most important tool of a democratic country and the imperfect way of getting to the truth. Now, in the era of journalism 2.0 and 3.0 I really thank you for the possibility of talking to you and hearing from you.