Creuza Oliveira, the voice of domestic workers

By Elkanah Nyauma

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Creuza Oliveira is a living story of more than nine million Brazilian domestic workers, mostly black women for whom slavery is not something new. She is also a perfect example of the revolutionary change workers unions and social movements can have to eliminate the societal evil of injustice.

Facts about Creuza

She was born in a poor family of rural workers with no education

She began life as a domestic worker in Bahia when she was 10 years old.

Unable to balance work and school, she had to pick work and dropped out of school numerous times.

At the age of 14, she was taken from her relatives in Bahia to Sao Paulo by her employers to work without their authorisation.

Oliveira experience discrimination at work as he would be beaten and insulted whenever she broke something. She was called names like monkey, lazy, the N-word (nigger) among other dirty names.

This experience plus sexual abuse from the people in the place where she worked. To top it all off, Oliveira was not paid.

Started to receive pay as a domestic worker at 21 (Source: Durban Review Conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva)

From a girl with low confidence into a leader, today she fights for the rights of blacks, women, and for domestic workers.

Lesson learnt

Girls/women need to rise up and fight social injustices

Women can and are a channel of change in the society

Gender discrimination is still rampant in society but it can be alleviated when people understand their rights and potential inside of them to bring change.

Women have the power to change the world just as men

The world is looking for people who are ready for change

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