Intersectionality as a political practice in the domestic workers' rights movements


  • Daniela Cherubini Bicocca University of Milan, Italy
  • Giulia Garofalo Geymonat Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy
  • Sabrina Marchetti Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy



The article looks at domestic workers’ rights organisations as an interesting case of social movements including intersectionality into their political practice, in other words doing what we call ‘intersectionality in action’. The article draws on in-depth interviews gathered in a comparative study on domestic worker’ s rights in Italy, Germany, Spain, India, Philippines, Taiwan, Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador (2016–21). Across these diverse contexts, domestic workers’ groups face the common challenge of organising a multiply marginalised workforce typically constituted by women belonging to low-class, low-caste, racialised, and migrant groups. The intersectionality of the labour force composition is reflected in different ways at the level of collective identity making, of claims and actions, as well as at the level of the discursive frames mobilised to promote their rights. The activist domestic workers included in our study show similarly creative ways to deal with these challenges and to take into account intersectional inequalities in their political practice, and they do so primarily in creating independent organisations, autonomous collective identities, and processes of re-appropriation of feminist frames.

Keywords: domestic workers, intersectionality, migration, social movements.