Women in charge of precarious and feminized jobs, those most infected by the coronavirus

Updated: Sunday, December 20, 2020 2:41 PM

Published on: 20.12.2020 14:39

Paola Verdejo, a caregiver and domestic worker, came into contact with an infected person in March and had to quarantine them. “I had been in contact with this person and the most responsible was to go home,” said the woman.

According to the latest seroprevalence study, more than 16% of home caregivers have been infected, a percentage only half a point lower than health workers. In addition, approximately 14% of cleaners and 13% of those employed in residences present antibodies, data linked to precariousness.

“We do not have the same working and protective conditions as other sectors,” criticized Edith Espínola, spokesperson for Servicio Doméstico Activo SEDOAC. And it is that of the 700,000 domestic workers in Spain, only 371,000 are registered with Social Security.

Between March and September, 22,000 people lost their jobs. In this sense, Pilar Serrano, nurse and doctor in public health, denounces “it is an underground economy and there are situations of irregular work”. “These factors make these women much more exposed,” he adds.

It is a precarious situation that pushes these women to have several jobs. “I work with five families, or around twenty people in total. It’s the fear of covid or of arriving at the end of the month, ”explains Paola Verdejo.

They move in a “crowded” metro and live crammed into small apartments.

These are women who use public transport. More precisely, as Edith Espínola emphasizes, “in a crowded bus or metro” and, in addition, they live crammed together in small apartments “with many difficulties for adequate isolation in case they are infected”, according to Pilar. Serrano. .

For these reasons, domestic workers demand from the government an occupational safety protocol such as that of health workers or hotels. “We are essential because we take care of life and they have not provided us with any protocol”, defends Espínola. These are recommendations that help mitigate the risk of a sector as vulnerable as the health sector.

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