An estimated 2.2 million residents of Nairobi work in the informal sector and live in under-served slum settlements. There are huge disparities in empowerment levels between women and men, with women facing challenges such as limited education, lack of employment and risks of physical and sexual violence.
The minimum wage is 10,500 shillings (approx. $100) a month but many workers are paid nowhere near that amount. Hours vary hugely, depending on the type of work available. Some women can end up working up to fourteen hours at a time, while workers like Margaret are lucky if they can secure three or four hours per day.
With Oxfam and local partners’ support, domestic workers have started to organise groups where they can discuss issues which affect them in their work. Margaret Mumbua, 46, has taken a lead in organising the Domestic Workers Women’s Group, where the women can raise their concerns and learn about their rights.