Domestic Workers or Slaves? A Question for Kenya

imageThe word “domestic” can contain many different meanings to those who interpret it. Some may think of it as a positive word, one that denotes the respectable position of keeping a home well-kept and presentable, while others may think of it as a negative word, which implies the daily drudgery of household tasks that keep the performers of these tasks in a never-ending routine of work. Whatever “domestic” may mean to people, it more than often has a feminine connotation. “A woman’s place is in the home” is a colloquial saying that was hegemonic in the collective consciousness of American society in the past and still persists in the present times. But what is the nature of domestic work? What happens to domestic work and the people who perform it when it is converted from a kind of work that is not measured by monetary earnings and completed by the women who live in the private sphere of the home, to a service which is completed by a hired and paid worker?

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