MARIE CLAIRE: What is your personal connection to this cause?
AI-JEN POO: My grandmother, who is 87, is able to have a vibrant life because a caregiver named Mrs. Sun supports her. Her work makes so much possible for our family, and I think the more we value people like Mrs. Sun, the healthier our society will be.
MC:What challenges do domestic workers face?
AP: Since these women are not given protections like a minimum wage, sick days, and overtime pay, we often compare it to the Wild West—a worker never knows what she is going to get. She might find a wonderful family who pays a living wage and benefits. On the other end of the spectrum, we see workers who haven't been paid for months, and cases of abuse, rape, and trafficking.
MC:Three states have passed "Domestic Workers Bills of Rights." What does this type of legislation address?
AP: The concept of a "bill of rights" originated at a convention in 2003. More than 200 domestic workers listed things that would improve their work, from paid holidays to health care to basic recognition and a thank-you. We turned the core pieces into legislation. Every state is approaching it differently, but they're working to recognize that all workers deserve protection.
MC:Where are the next battlegrounds?
AP: There's strong interest from legislators in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington state. The first hearings in the Massachusetts legislature are under way.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Rachel Zegler and Halle Bailey on Dealing With Trolls as Modern-Day Disney Princesses
"It’s choosing to be present and know that they’re probably just having a really hard day. And I’m putting out a movie."
By Quinci LeGardye
Kendall Jenner in Phoebe Philo Is Luxury with a Capital L
The sum total of her outfit is approximately six months of my rent.
By India Roby
Kaia Gerber's "Off-Duty Librarian" Look Is a Win for Nerds Everywhere
Bookworms, this one is for you.
By Melony Forcier
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J. Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo
The Biden Administration Announced It Will Remove the Hyde Amendment
The pledge was just one of many gender equity commitments made by the administration, including the creation of the first U.S. National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
By Megan DiTrolio