By Vivien Webb, board chair of PathFinders
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, #EmbraceEquity, encourages everyone everywhere to work together to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all women. So this is the time for us to show our care and support for the Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) community. They have made enormous contributions and personal sacrifices to serve our community in Hong Kong, yet have often been under-appreciated and undervalued.
MDWs, or “helpers”, are one of Hong Kong’s most marginalised communities of women. We often hear heartbreaking stories of MDWs encountering racial or gender discrimination. They are working women just like you and I, yet they often lack respectful and fair treatment and access to rights in society.
Being a working mother myself, I just can’t imagine how I would carry on with my career and take care of the family without our amazing MDWs. They are part of our family, and have enabled thousands of working women like myself in our city to carry on working and have a family. But how often do we really acknowledge their personal challenges and sacrifices?
On International Women’s Day, let us recognize the MDW community for who they really are – as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and as passionate and hardworking women who have made enormous sacrifices to work thousands of miles away from home to create a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.
There is so much you can do to mark this special day for your MDW at home by simply spending a moment to show your heartfelt appreciation and care for her. If she is a mother, you can encourage her to take short breaks during the day to stay connected with her children. These gestures of kindness will mean the world to them!
You can also support an NGO that is truly committed and dedicated to create positive changes to the MDW community. A very simple way like donating money or supplies, volunteering your time and expertise, or simply spreading the word to raise awareness and inspire others will make a difference.
Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. We have seen in the past year an increased concerted effort to secure more equity and fairness for everyone in society, and yet we still have a long way to go. Let’s work together to protect and empower this extraordinary and often overlooked community of women by #EmbraceEquity to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
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