“Laudelina”, an innovative App at the service of domestic workers in Brazil

Laudelina is already a reality and its main objective is to legally protect domestic workers and promote a private social network between professionals in this sector.

Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Laudelina is an app

The idea to develop this app emerged in the framework of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality-supported programme, Domestic Workers: creating equality in Brazil, implemented by Themis, FENATRADN, and the ELAS Fund.

“There are more than 6 million domestic workers in Brazil, and they are a very important social value for the Brazilian economy”, stated Creuza Maria Oliveira, President of the National Federation of Female Domestic Workers (FENATRAD) in that country.

In a one-minute promotional video, President Creuza presents the mobile app project Laudelina, which was proposed by the organization Themis – Gender Equality, and Human Rights, winner of the Google 2016 Social Impact Challenge prize.

Laudelina is already a reality and its main objective is to legally protect domestic workers and promote a private social network between professionals in this sector.

The app will offer a series of services of great utility to empower and increase the knowledge of Brazilian domestic workers. They will have at their disposal a didactic and interactive guide of their labour rights in an accessible language, a calculator of benefits, a list of protection agencies rearranged by location, and they will even be able to create a social network among domestic workers in the same region should they need support in any topic related to their legal rights at work or any information about access to services in the case of work accidents, sexual aggressions, or other common problems.

“Thanks to the benefits of the calculator, they can register their working hours, calculate their salaries, and if they work overtime, to better determine how much they are to be paid, or if they deserve extra time off,” explains Michele Savicki, coordinator of the Themis Project.

The social aspect of the app is also an important part of the project since, as Savicki points out, many of these domestic workers are alone in their employers’ home. “We know that in the history of domestic work, collective organization is very important, and often the workers have difficulties due to the amount of time spent alone without being able to reach colleagues, unlike in other professions. This is a good network to share ideas and get organized”, she said.

The idea to develop this app emerged in the framework of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality-supported programme, Domestic Workers: creating equality in Brazil, implemented by Themis, FENATRADN, and the ELAS Fund. Throughout the three-year initiative, programme partners gathered domestic workers unions from various states in the country. This work played a pivotal role in understanding domestic workers’ needs; expanding their rights with the approval of new labour laws; and link this entire process with new technologies as a tool to improve access to rights. This initiative also counts with the support of the Ford Foundation, the Public Ministry of Work, and the International Organization of Employment.

The application, which was named in honor of Laudelina de Campos Melo, founder of the first association of domestic workers in Brazil in 1936, was developed in August 2016. After a six-months testing period, it is foreseen that to be implemented at national level in 2017, with external evaluations during that year.

The app Laudeline will have a larger impact on Afro-descendent Brazilian women from disadvantaged social classes, as they comprise the majority of domestic workers.

A national household survey (PNAD) conducted in the first trimester of 2015 revealed that Brazil had 6,019,000 people in the domestic worker sector. Among them, 92% were women, of which 61% were black (PNAD, 2011). According to 2011 PNAD survey, their average income was below the minimum salary, they had very low levels of education, and only 24.5% were working under a formal contract.

Laudelina will provide a stronger monitoring and accountability of labour inspection bodies in Brazil, such as The Public Ministry of Labour, or Justice of Employment, who participated as collaborators and key allies in the development of the app.

To know more about the application please access the following video