IMECE Women Solidarity Association/Domestic Workers Union is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation of domestic workers who are mainly not registered and work in precarious working conditions. The organisation’s objective is to strengthen this group and other female workers disadvantaged on the labour market and raise awareness about women’s contribution to the labour market and the value of domestic work.
IMECE was first founded as Imece Women Solidarity Association in 2004 by a group of women who sought to support women socially, culturally and economically. The association has conducted many awareness raising campaigns, but is also engaged in research activities and developing cultural programmes for women in the fields of law, health, education and ecology, among other. Promoting women’s rights is another key area of activity. Analyses of working conditions and labour market situation, mainly related to domestic work, have been carried out since 2006. As a result of the activities, the association founded IMECE TRADE UNION FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS in 2010. In Turkey, domestic work is a neglected area, which is not accepted as work and the domestic workers are not being accepted as workers according to the Turkish Labour Act (No. 4857). As a consequence, they were legally not allowed to form a recognised union. Based on an amendment of the union law in 2013, IMECE was able to establish the first domestic workers’ union in Turkey.
IMECE indorsed that the ILO C189 Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers to be ratified by the Turkish Government and that the labour law should get an amendment in the Labour Act 4857 to include domestic workers. These initiatives involved supporting several campaigns, including the collection of thousands of signatures and attending meetings at the national assembly and with members of the parliament. IMECE also organised several large conferences in various parts of the country.