Tutambulike campaign - Domestic Workers Unite

alternate textTutambulike campaign protest in Mathare

Wamama wa Dhobi is a group of over 150 women living in and around the informal settlements of Mathare and Kiamaiko in Nairobi and who’s main source of livelihood is domestic work for a daily wage. Coming together in early 2010, Wamama wa Dhobi sought to challenge the violations women domestic workers face including pay below the minimum wage, refusal to pay by some employers, verbal and physical abuse, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

In 2011, with the support of Bunge la Mwananchi's Women's Caucus and Fahamu, Wamama wa Dhobi created the Tutambulike campaign to articulate the economic and social demands of women informal workers, create mutual support and protection, and interface with mainstream unions, state institutions and other forums of redress.

Watch Kilio Cha Wamama - the amazing documentary of these brave women's stories. 

United to Victory

Herina was one of the workers from Mathare who had faced incredible injustice and humiliation from her work. She provided domestic services to a client who subsequently refused to pay her as per their agreement. On her insistence that the client fullfils his end of the deal, she was attacked and seriously injured by the client. She reported the matter to the local chief who offered no assistance.  She was subsequently humiliated further when she went back to work in the same area after recovering, and she was taunted and ridiculed by the individual who had assaulted her.  For her, the Tutambulike campaign was a platform through which she could seek justice and redress for the humiliation she has endured and was continuing to suffer. When her attacker was arrested after the second rally of the campaign, charged for the offence and successfully prosecuted, she recovered a piece of her human dignity that she had lost from the incident.

"Wamama wa Dhobi ndio tegemeo la nchi bila hao wafanyikazi wengine hawawezi kuenda kazini" - Anon

Every worker depends on domestic workers, without them, other workers would never go to work. 
"Sisi wamama tukona nguvu! tusijudharau" - Herina
We women are powerful! Lets not underestimate ourselves.