chapter  4
17 Pages

Workers without rights as citizens at the margins

ByVirginia Mantouvalou

In a recent essay on citizenship and migrant domestic work, Linda Bosniak argued that ‘in the context of transnational domestic labor […], characterizing the equality aspirations of employer women as matters of citizenship can work to obscure the status citizenship deprivations experienced by many of the female employees’ (Bosniak 2009, p. 147). The statement illustrates the following tension: participation in the labour market outside home empowers women to achieve equal citizenship to men. But this development is coupled by the expansion of the domestic work sector, which is under-regulated. Domestic workers, who are most of the time female, are disadvantaged because national law in many jurisdictions unfairly excludes them from much labour protective legislation. Domestic workers are also very often migrant, and immigration legislation in many

national legal orders also disadvantages them. The lack of citizenship status (as legal status) leads to their exclusion from additional labour rights.