Paraguay: The paradise of the Mesdames

Congress determines Paraguayans pay 40% less for domestic workers in the country. Public Agency

In Paraguay, the housemaids/daily helps must earn only 60% of the national minimum wage, which means about $240, and can be contracted from 16 years of age. The Paraguayan Congress never ceases to amaze. After the heated discussion that the PEC of Domestic Servants generated in Brazil, with a very positive result, come the Congress of the neighboring country (Paraguay) - the same that brought down Fernando Lugo, only leftist president in its history - and show their true mettle when it comes to equal rights.

On Tuesday, the 17th, the House of Representatives passed by 37 votes to 19 the bill sent by the Senate which states that domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage 40% lower than the rest of the country's workers. That's right: the housemaid/daily help must earn only 60% of the national minimum wage - which means about $240 - and also can be contracted from 16 years, while other workers have to be at least 18 years of age. The vote was taken after the demand of the union of these workers, which states that nowadays the housemaids/daily helps receive only 40% compared to other workers. They wanted to get on equal terms, as determined the PEC of Domestic Servants in neighboring Brazil.

Now, the text will go to the Executive Branch for its enactment. But as the Colorado party, of President Horacio Cartes, massively supported the new law, there should be no great difficulties. According to EFE, the deputies said that to establish the minimum wage for Domestic Servants "would be populist" and thus professional "teachers, police and military" could not pay their employees.

According to official figures of 2012 one in ten Paraguayan maids are living in extreme poverty due to low pay. "There are unconstitutional elements in the project," protested the lawyer Juan Bautista Rivarola to the Paraguayan site E'A, partner of Pública. "From the point of view of legal discrimination of domestic work, it was a great defeat," added Gabriela Schvartzam, of the organization Kuña Pyrenda, which advocates gender equality. "There's no mincing words. We are witnessing a case of discrimination that affects, in most cases, the Paraguayan women."

By Natalia Viana/Pública

From the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru

Translated by Natália Santos

Portuguese version



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey