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Appeal for Working Women’s Centre Timor-Leste
12 June 2012
In September 2011, we were proud to help launch the Working Women’s Centre Timor-Leste – the first dedicated service for women to better access their employment rights and combat gender violence in the workplace in Timor-Leste.
You can help to continue this important work with some of the most vulnerable women workers in Timor-Leste
The women of Timor-Leste have long held traditional roles in the home and many women are now seeking employment to help lift themselves and their families from chronic poverty. However, around two-thirds of adult women have never attended school and employment opportunities for those without a formal education are limited.
Most of the work available to women in Timor-Leste is characterised by 'informal' workplace arrangements. Jobs are paid cash in hand, without negotiation on fair wages or conditions, such as working hours and basic leave entitlements.
In addition, women in informal work are unable to access existing or proposed Timorese social security schemes, and with an absence of occupational health and safety standards, some women are experiencing violence, harassment and other forms of coercion.
This situation could entrap some of Timor's most promising women in a cycle of poverty.
You can help break this cycle by supporting this effort to provide working women with the education, advocacy and support required to enable them to fully access their rights.
Donate today - Donations over $2 are tax deductible
The Working Women's Centre has decided to initially concentrate on creating a support network for the growing number of women who are gaining informal employment as domestic helpers.
Domestic workers in Timor-Leste often have to leave their homes and families in the poorer rural districts for work in larger urban centres. They often live in their employer's home - a power imbalance in itself. This leaves them far from their usual support networks and with limited avenues of redress should they experience harassment, violence or discrimination at work.
Timor's Working Women's Centre is currently focussing on five districts: Dili, Bacau, Ermera, Lautem and Oecusse. Centre staff have travelled to each district to identify women who hold a position of respect within their communities. Through these women, the Working Women's Centre hopes to engage and empower women on grassroots issues at a local level.
Through trainings, the Working Women's Centre educates women workers about their rights at work, fair wages, and occupational health and safety standards. Outreach officers are trained to provide support and advocate for appropriate resolution of workplace issues.
Your generous donation to this appeal will contribute in a very practical way to poverty reduction by increasing rights awareness for some of the most vulnerable workers in Timor-Leste.
We would like to thank the Australian Network of Working Women's Centres and the Australian Government's AusAID Innovations Fund for their roles in setting up the WWCTL in 2011. It is now up to Australia's working people to keep this initiative going.
How you can make a gift to this appeal:
- Download a donation form, complete and return it to Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Level 3, 377-383 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000 or fax it to (02) 9261 1118;
- Phone our office on freecall 1800 888 674 or (02) 9264 9343; or
- Donate securely online (Select 'End of Financial Year Appeal' from the dropdown box in Part C of the online form (ONE OFF DONATIONS and APPEALS)).
Donations to this appeal over $2 are tax deductible. Your donation will be directed to the appeal above. In the unlikely event we raise more than is required, extra funds will be directed to future Timor-Leste projects.
Working Women's Centre Appeal Form [ pdf ]
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Ph: Freecall 1800 888 674 or (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118