Securing Rights

Development Project

Securing Rights

Promoting empowerment and advocacy to secure labour rights for women domestic workers in Bangladesh

The Situation

Acute poverty, dowry, divorce, climate change and family debts or loans drive women and girls in Bangladesh to urban areas to seek work and a better life.

Women who migrate to Dhaka, the country's capital, often become regular domestic workers or part-time help. Most do not have mutually agreed-on working hours with their employers, and their overtime is not tracked or accounted for in their pay. They do not have the right to Bangladesh's minimum wage or decent working conditions.

Out of Bangladesh's 10.5 million domestic workers, a staggering 90 per cent are women. They represent 17 per cent of the country's total labour force.

While the labour rights of many other workers in Bangladesh are safeguarded, domestic workers have been systematically excluded from key labour protections that would guarantee the ability of girls and women to work with dignity and be free from violence in the workplace.

As one of Bangladesh's most marginalized and disadvantaged groups, domestic workers are vulnerable. They experience various forms of violence and insecurity throughout their lives.

It is difficult to challenge this violence and discrimination. Domestic workers typically do not have the education or support they need to advocate for reasonable and fair treatment in the workplace. There is also an overwhelming lack of information on negotiating for better working conditions.



6 years (2019-2025)

Lire la description du programme en français (PDF).

This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, and the generous Canadian public.

New logo from government of Canada that reads, in partnership with Canada.

Issues at a Glance

These numbers illustrate the dire and difficult situation facing domestic workers in Bangladesh:

There are 10.5 million domestic workers in Bangladesh and 90% of them are women.
On average, domestic workers earn about US$12 per month.
Out of every 400 child domestic workers, 185 are under the age of 12.

What are we doing?


Providing women domestic workers with the skills and information they need to find help where and when they need it.


Increasing confidence and empowerment to support women domestic workers in finding and keeping decent work.


Supporting women's rights organizations to advance the legal rights of domestic workers and ensure fair implementation of laws and policies.

What do we hope to achieve?

Oxfam and our partners in Bangladesh aim to empower and organize women domestic workers so that they can claim and defend their rights. We also seek to influence policy makers and other influential actors to start protecting the rights of women domestic workers and recognize domestic work as a formal occupation.

Our project partners

Support women domestic workers today as they fight for their rights in Bangladesh.

Share this page: