Monocolumn: A Clean Start For Paraguay’s Women

Monocolumn: A Clean Start For Paraguay’s Women

When Fernando Lugo took presidential power in Paraguay two years ago, ending 60 years of rule by the right-wing Colorados party, he promised to help the underprivileged and deprived.

  • 16 november 2010

Monocolumn- A Clean Start For Paraguay’s Women

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

When Fernando Lugo took presidential power in Paraguay two years ago, ending 60 years of rule by the right-wing Colorados party, he promised to help the underprivileged and deprived. But continually low salaries, weak health coverage and scarce state aid shows little has changed. Finally though, there are signs that the new government is cleaning up its act – starting with the country’s many empleadas domésticas, or household cleaners.

The domestic cleaning workforce consists of more than 200,000 women in Paraguay – 3 per cent of the population. Most of them get paid about $120 (€88) a month, 40 per cent of the minimum salary. The rest is made up for in bed and board.

Paraguay’s Ministry of Justice and Work, in a bid to end the underpayment and mistreatment women experience in domestic jobs, created a programme in April this year to improve their working environment. The Professionalization Course for Domestic Workers is a joint project with the United Nations and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), which instructs on the finer points of domestic service.

Women of 16 and over may enroll in the free two-month course (96 hours of lessons) without any requirements other than a valid identification card. It includes five modules taught by professionals – work legislation, domestic relations, cleaning services, kitchen services and occupational projects. The government even gives each participant a transportation fee.

According to the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), Paraguay lacks strong laws to protect the dignity of women (it was only in 2000 that a law was passed classifying domestic violence as a crime – and only if the crime is reoccurring). That is why the course’s main objective is to empower women through rigorous professional training. “We were taught to value ourselves and to have our rights respected,” says Carina Torres, one of the approximately 60 women who have participated in the course so far. With a diploma under her arm, she has already found a job at a cleaning company thanks to an employment register created by Hogar Kuñataí Róga, a seminary where the course is taught.

To continue reading, click here.

Image by Veer.

Veer has recently relaunched its site,, with a simplified, easy to use interface allowing for enhanced and simplified image search. The site, which is a go-to source for creative and affordable stock photography, illustrations, fonts and merchandise, helps people add style to business, marketing, and personal design projects.

tumblr analytics


Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Asia Today

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Today

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Health Today

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Today

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

Benjamin White

Digital Accelerator

Design & Architecture Today

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Today

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Today

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Today

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed

Retail Today

Snapchat Reveals A Striking Pair Of Video-Recording Sunglasses

Spectacles make memories from your perspective and transfer them to the app


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

Design Today

Concept Artists And Scientists Form Partnership To Visualize The Future

The collaboration hopes to liberate ideas and innovations trapped in notebooks

Automotive Today

Uber Could Be Bringing Vertical Takeoff Transport To Your City

The ridesharing app is looking into the development of nimble aircraft for urban environments

No search results found.