A 2013 study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) found that there were at least 52 million domestic workers in the world, the majority of them women. According to the study, domestic work accounts for 7.5 per cent of women’s wage employment worldwide, with a much higher percentage in the regions of Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the ILO: “Domestic workers are frequently expected to work longer hours than other workers and in many countries do not have the same rights to weekly rest that are enjoyed by other workers. Combined with the lack of rights, the extreme dependency on an employer and the isolated and unprotected nature of domestic work can render them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”

In Mexico (a country where 4.2 million people live under the poverty line, roughly 3.3 per cent of the population), domestic workers face a reality similar to that described by the ILO. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), 2.3 million people in Mexico are engaged in domestic work, nine out of ten of which are women. The country has yet to ratify ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers.